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Thursday, July 25, 2024

IYC Talks Tough, Tells Obaseki To Give Staff Of Office To Ijaw Kings Before Governorship Election 

By Opukutu Rejoice

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has talked tough, calling on His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki to urgently give staff of office to Ijaw kings in Edo State before the Governorship election.

The IYC while urging the Governor to give staff of office to the five Kings in Edo State had vowed not to further tolerate the continued enslavement and political subjugation of the Ijaw people in Edo State, stressing that the Ijaw people must be treated fairly in the state.

Speaking further, the highly revered Ijaw Youth Council had called on the Governor to urgently commence the Udo-Ofunama road project and that of the Gelegele-gbene Seaport.

Binebai had called for a proper inclusion and development of the Ijaw Kingdoms and her people in Edo State.

This was contained in a statement signed and issued to newsmen on behalf of council by the Spokesman of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill earlier today in Warri at his office.

The statement reads in full below:

Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide

Press Statement


Edo Guber: IYC Tackles Obaseki Over Deprivation, Underdevelopment Of Ijaws, Make Demands

1. Edo State was created on August 27, 1991 when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States. The major first languages spoken in the state are Ijaw, Edo, Etsako, Esan and Owan, Akoko Edo and Okpameri language. Edo State is home to several ethnicities, among them the Bini, Ijaw, Esan, Afemai and Emai.

2. The Ijaw people are not only found in Edo State but they are original foundation ethnic group in Edo State like others. The Ijaws have five autonomously independent Kingdoms such as Egbema, Okomu, Olodiama, Forupa and Gbaran. These Kingdoms have been politically bulkernized into three local government areas in Edo State as minorities. They are in Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia North-East and Ovia South-West Local Government areas of the state.

3. It is so shocking, shameful and appalling that successive Edo State Governors have exhibited high level of ethnic jingoism and have Governed the state as though the Ijaws are not existing while the Ijaws are equal stakeholders in the state. The Ijaw people are both culturally, politically, socially and economically viable.

4. The demand of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) is that His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki should be proactive enough by urgently giving staff of office to the five Ijaw Kingdoms in Edo State before the Governorship election.

5. Let us sound this clear again and again that the Ijaws in Edo State are not living in a foreign land, they are living in their ancestral land and no one should try to falsify their history by trying to annex any part of their lands. Our people must be treated fairly in Edo State with dignity and honour going forward.

6. Our people have suffered too much political deprivation, suppression, manipulation, oppression, strangulation and alienation in their own land. Since the creation of Edo state till date, the level of development in the Ijaw areas have been completely nothing to write home about. The IYC will not allow this injustice to fester forever.

7. The continued subjugation of our people and Kingdoms by not giving staff of office to Ijaw kings in Edo State is something that is capable of causing disharmony and chaos, we don’t know how we will continue to endure this calculated arrangement geared towards undermining the autonomy of the Ijaws in Edo State. You cannot be using our collective wealth to develop and dignify one section. This is totally unacceptable to the Ijaw Youth Council.

8. It is our call to the Governor of Edo state, His Excellency, Hon. Godwin Obaseki to swiftly partner with relevant agencies for the commencement of the Udo-Ofunama road project to connect the rural Ijaw areas to the urban and see to the realization of the Gelegele-gbene Seaport. These projects are very dear and key to our people, Edo, Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. If completed the projects will add so much economic value to the polity.

9. However, the IYC is calling on the Edo State Governor, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki to act on these pressing issues of the Ijaw people as soon as possible as we have never enjoyed the dividends of being in Edo State as a founding ethnic group.

10. The Ijaw people are expecting to see that we produce Chairman in the three local government areas that we have been bulkernized into, House of Assembly members, Senator, commissioners, Speaker and even Governor of the State in the nearest future. We can’t only be good at supporting people only during elections and dumped thereafter.

11. Finally, as the Edo State Governorship election draws nearer, it is the call of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide that the Ijaw people should freely support whoever that will have the interest to develop and give the Ijaws what is due them. The proper development of Ijaw will always come first, we will not negotiate or politicise our development for anything.

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