By Etop Ekanem, WARRI
A coalition of Itsekiri pressure groups, yesterday, took to major streets of Warri, Delta State, in protest, saying the chairmanship of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, board should be granted to the Itsekiri ethnic nationality as of right.
The hundreds of protesters bearing placards with various inscriptions, kicked off their protest from the Olu’s palace field, chanting various protest songs before stopping over at Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor Ajamimogha office where they addressed the press and handed over their demand to the Director of Medrick Cultural Centre, Mr. Frank Uromieyaghan, for transmission to Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, the Igba of Warri Kingdom.
Speaking to newsmen, the leaders of the coalition and President of Itsekiri Interest Group, Mr. Gbubemi Awala, Mone Oris, leader of Itsekiri Liberation Group and Mr. Matthew Igiogio, leader of Itsekiri Freedom Congress, expressed regret that no Itsekiri person has ever been made head of the intervention agency despite being the highest oil and gas producing ethnic nationality in Delta State.
They appealed to the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III and Chief Lori-Ogbebor to use their positions to impress on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an Itsekiri person this time around, noting that they have been reticent for too long and would resort to self-help if their demand was not met.
Receiving the protest letter on behalf of Chief Lori-Ogbebor, Mr. Uromieyaghan, thanked them for their peaceful disposition, saying that their demand were legitimate, even as he assured that he would promptly deliver the letter to his principal, who he assured would speak to the relevant authorities on the need to do the needful.
The protesting coalition include: Itsekiri Interest Group, Itsekiri Freedom Congress, Itsekiri Liberation Group, Itsekiri Coalition for Good Governance, Iwere Women Consultative Forum led by Madam Queen Eweto and National Association of Itsekiri Students.