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June 17, 2024

Furupagha Ijaw in Odigbo protest planned rotation of chieftaincy

Furupagha Ijaw in Odigbo protest planned rotation of chieftaincy

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The Furupagha Ijaw community in Odigbo council area of Ondo state have rejected the proposed agreement between Ebijaw and Taribor communities in the council for the rotation of a single chieftaincy stool of Ibeodiowe of Ebijaw.

Leaders of the community, Pa Emmanuel Odushu, the Opu-Idushu of Furupagha-Ijaw/lbe-Okosuwei Leader of Furupagha-Ijaw (Ebijaw Ward) Odigbo Local Government, led the protest to the governor’s office in Akure, the state capital.

Pa Odushu said that ” Furupagha Traditional Council, wish to dissociate the Furupagha people from the said agreement which to all intents and purposes is designed to balkanise their land and share it with trespassers from Edo and Delta states.

” We the people of Furupagha-ljaw constituted as the Ebijaw Ward of Odigbo Local Government of Ondo State and represented by the Traditional Council, elders youths organisations do hereby express our total rejection of a proposed “Agreement Between Ebijaw and Taribor for the rotation of a Single Chieftaincy Stool of Ibeodiowe”.

According to him” there are three tribes of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in Ondo State namely: the Apoi, Arogbo both in Ese-Odo Local Government and Furupagha-Ijaw in Odigbo Local Government. Each of them has its own defined territory and chieftaincies in line with their respective customary laws.

“Furupagha-Ijaw territory is indivisible and constituted by the Ebijaw Ward, inhabited by the aboriginal Ijaws and people from other parts of Nigeria who have been living peacefully together as part of the Ondo Province, Ondo Division, Ifesowapo and now Odigbo Local Government. 

“Though Ijaw speaking, the traditional ruler of Furupagha-Ijaw is recognised by the Ondo State Government and Odigbo Local Government as Oloja of Ebijaw, a minor chieftaincy under the Prescribed Authority of the Orunja of Odigbo in the same way as Apoi-Ijaw rulers are called Oba. Copies of such letters of recognition by the Odigbo Local Government.

“Chief Meus Tunde Ditou-Muje is the incumbent Oloja of Ebijaw and its environs including Taribor.

“Government considers the elevation of the Oloja of Ebijaw to the Recognised Chieftaincy of the Ibediowe of Ebijaw (Furupagha) as recommended by the Ajama Commission.

“There is no existing chieftaincy in the Ebijaw Ward of Odigbo Local Government known as Ibe-Nanawei of Tubu-toru and government is advised not to create any such chieftaincy or divide the territory of Furupagha-Ijaw people of Ondo State which is contrary to the customary law and the Chiefs Law of Ondo State.

“Government should not bring to our land those who have no respect for human life, law and territorial boundaries of states in the Niger Delta.

“All we are saying is that government should approve the elevation of the Oloja of Ebijaw as a recognized Chief with the title of Ibeodiowe as recommended by the Ajama Commission. There is no faction or division in Furupagha-Ijaw (Ebijaw Ward)

He added that “In the interest of peace, security and stability that no part of the land of our clients being an integral part of Ondo state is allowed by strangers from other states to take over by creating illegal chieftaincies.

Addressing the protesters, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, promised that their demands would be tabled before the governor. Adeniyan lauded them for the peaceful protest.