UNIJOS in chaos as students protest hike in school fees

Students of the University of Jos continued their protests today following yesterday’s chaos in the school over what they say is a 100% increase in school fees. ‎The protesting students set fire in front of the school gate this afternoon, insisting that school authority must reduce their fees.

The students say the fee was N27,800 but has now been increased to #60,000. They also say they were forced to pay for developmental levy which has never been used for any development within the university. They said all effort by the student union government to speak with the Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Hayward Babale Mafuyai, was met with a brick wall as the VC refused to negotiate with the students.


Following his refusal to speak with students, they took to the streets to protest, blocking all roads leading to the university of Jos thereby bringing all activities to a standstill. All university activities was also boycotted including the exams that was meant to start yesterday 24th November.

The protests continued today…

Festus Keyamo drags SSS, IGP to court over threat by Tompolo

After the expiration of the 72-hour ultimatum given by Mr. Keyamo to the SSS and the Police to arrest and investigate Tompolo over the threat to Mr. Keyamo’s life, Mr. Keyamo today approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the SSS and IGP to arrest Tompolo.

Find the Court process after the cut…
 
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
HOLDEN AT ABUJA
 
SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/904/2014
 
 
 
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS BY FESTUS KEYAMO
 
BETWEEN:
MR. FESTUS KEYAMO   ……………………………….…           APPLICANT
 
AND
 
1. DIRECTOR-GENERAL, STATE SECURITY SERVICES   … RESPONDENTS
2. THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE
 
MOTION EXPARTE
BROUGHT UNDER:
 
1.     ORDER 34 RULE 1 (1)(a) AND RULE 3 (1) AND (2) OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) RULES 2009
2.     SECTIONS 4 and 23 OF THE POLICE ACT, CAP P19 LFN, 2004.
3.     UNDER THE INHERENT JURISDICTION OF THIS HONOURABLE COURT
 
TAKE NOTICE that this Honorable Court will be moved on the…… day of ………. 2014 at the hour of 9 0’clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter as counsel may be heard on behalf of the Applicant for the following reliefs:
1.     AN ORDER granting leave to the Applicant to apply for the following reliefs:
a.   AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the 1st and 2nd Respondents to invite for investigation one Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) over allegations of threat to kill Mr. Festus Keyamo, acts of terror (kidnapping, torture and attempted murder) made against him by the Applicant, Mr. Festus Keyamo and several other victims.
b.   AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the 1st and 2nd Respondents to investigate oneGovernment Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) for the allegations of threat to kill Mr. Festus Keyamo, acts of terror (kidnapping, torture and attempted murder) made against him by the Applicant, Mr. Festus Keyamo and several other victims.
c.   AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the 1st and 2nd Respondents to make available to the Applicant the report of their investigations into the allegations of threat to kill Mr. Festus Keyamo, acts of terror (kidnapping, torture and attempted murder) made against him by the Applicant, Mr. Festus Keyamo and several other victims.
       2. AND FOR SUCH FURTHER ORDER(S) as this Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this Application.
                   Dated the 24th day of November, 2014
  
 BALA DAKUM, ESQ.
FESTUS KEYAMO CHAMBERS,
COUNSEL TO THE APPLICANT,
13 NOUAKCHOTT STREET,
NEAR KEYSTONE BANK,
WUSE ZONE 1, ABUJA.
08033371229, 08023388080

Itsekiri Graduates Expel Governor Uduaghan

  • Says He Loses His Natural Membership Of The Association

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State may have been a natural member of the National Association of  Itsekiri Graduates(NAIG), but on 16th November he lost that natural  membership as the association after their General Congress, which was held on the 16th November 2014, expelled him from being a member meaning that his natural membership of the association has been withdrawn by the association.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the association National Congress, and signed by the National President, Comr. Alero Tenumah, the General Secretary,  Comr Toju Okpeyeaghan the National President General and Comr. Dennis Mene the Public Relations Officer, stated that; Sequel to the general congress held on Sunday,16th November 2014, the following decisions were reached: “That the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG), strongly condemn the way and manner in which President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has handled the Gas Industrial Revolution Park (GRIP) A.K.A EPZ Project Ground Breaking which has been postponed twice.

According to the Association, it also stated that; “We wish to state that Mr. President may have given reason for people to believe the accusation that his administration is Anti-Itsekiri with the recent postponement of the Ground Breaking Ceremony of GRIP due to mere threat from his Ijaw kinsmen, or how else do you explain the temerity of civilians issuing threat to the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of NIGERIA not to perform his constitutional duty and the President reneged in his duty.”

According to the association the said that they have watched closely with disdain the actions of the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan over the past few years as regards his attitude concerning the EPZ project and other issues that borders on the survival and continuous existence of the Itsekiri ethnic Nationality; “We are appalled that though he is an Itsekiri man, but since his assumption of office, the Itsekiri people has been marginalized and humiliated several times because of his moribund and docile attitude. It is his behaviour that almost COST us a representative at the just concluded National Conference. We wish to state categorically that the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality though a minority was among the few tribes that signed NIGERIA’s Amalgamation treaty,” it said.

NAIG also hinted that; “We can say without fear or favour that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has failed us woefully, and in line with the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, we are calling for his immediate resignation.”

The association in its communiqué stated that the current imbroglio surrounding the EPZ Ground Breaking Ceremony is a deliberate, calculated and evil attempt by our Ijaw neighbours to START another genocide/ethnic cleansing against the Itsekiri people whom they see as their obstacle to a Toru-Ebe State/Niger Delta Republic.”

According to NAIG  it stated that ; “It is in the light of the above, therefore, that we are making the following declarations; “That Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is hereby ex-communicated by NAIG from any of her activities and therefore expelled from this organization. This means his natural membership of the association has been withdrawn by the association. We state categorically that all lands proposed for the Export Processing Zone are owned by Itsekiris, as settled judicially in Suit No, MCC/37/71: GODSPOWER OKOTUROH (of Ugborodo Itsekiri) vs. BURUTU (Ijaw) as belonging to Ugborodo people.”

“NAIG condemn in the strongest terms the robbing, molestation and Kidnapping of 14 Journalists, 2 of our members and 4others by heavily armed militants headed by Chief Government Ekpemupolo A.K.A Tompolo at Oporaza community on their way from Ogidigben where a large protest took place to express the disdain Itsekiri are feeling towards the ethnic card being played by President Goodluck Jonathan over the EPZ project.”

“We are surprised that Chief Government Ekpemupolo is now the one giving orders to the Nigeria military in the coast of the Niger- Delta, thereby making our security system a rubber stamp security that is used at will by this militant head. This has made us understand why Boko- Haram is thriving in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. Since the government protection can’t be relied upon any longer, we suggest that the government should create a level playing ground for all tribes in Nigeria irrespective of whether or not they are the tribe of the President to acquire arms. That is the only way there would be fairness. It is not when one tribe is encouraged, funded and allowed to amass weapons while others are disarmed.”

Furthermore NAIG stated in its communiqué that; “Nigerians must wake up now. Otherwise, we shall wake up one day and observe that the tribe of Mr President is already having more arms than the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We unequivocally state that both Boko Haram and Militancy have a lot in common: both involve an ideology perceived to be superior. But involve illegal procurement of firearms by stealing  commonwealth, including crude oil and bank robbery. Both involve support from top government officials. Both are illegal and involve the taking of human lives, the list is endless. Both ought to be treated as crimes. But one is tolerated, encouraged and rewarded, why the other is not. We call for equality before the law!

“NAIG will ground all economic activities in Warri Kingdom, if any part of our land is decimated annexed by the FG to appease the Ijaws in the EPZ project/if the ground breaking ceremony is not fixed as soon as possible. We shall carry out our actions in phases in collaboration with the Itsekiri Leaders of Thoughts, Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC), Itsekiri Chat Group (ICG), The National Association of Itsekiri Students (NAIS) and other well meaning groups that share our pain.”

According to NAIG; “Our program STARTS from tomorrow 17th November,2014 with some ‘spiritual exercise of fasting and prayers, and consultation visits to HRM the Olu of Warri, Olu’s Palace at Ode-Itsekiri, Warri Royal Cemetery, HRM the Oba of Benin, HRM the Oni of Ife, HRM the Queen of England, UN, etc. We shall be liaising with the President of INYC to carry a coordinated shut down of all oil wells, flow station, gas plant, etc in Warri Kingdom from Ugbege- Orere-Abiteye-Dibi-Olero-Otumara-EGTL-Egwa-Ugbodede-Omadino, should this oppression on Itsekiri continue.”

“We are calling on all Itsekiris worldwide via Ugbarajo Itsekiri USA, CANADA, UK, Ireland etc to put all machineries in place for this operation, should the President of the nation and his Ijaw kinsmen continue their assault against Itsekiri. We also call on all Itsekiri home based community leaders to synergize with NAIG for this operation. We hereby in conjunction with NAIS activate all organs of our body necessary for the survival of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality.

“All our members worldwide are hereby notified of our program and this declaration means that YOUR services shall be needed any time and as such should be ready.

We wish to state that we are no militants, hence all, our approach shall be violent free and within the ambit of the laws of Nigeria as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, but we also know that “those that make peaceful change impossible will make violent change inevitable. We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately fix a new date for the Ground Breaking of the Gas Industrial Revolution Park (GRIP) A.K.A EPZ Project at Ogidigben, in Warri South-West Local Government area.”

Linda Ikeji Extract : See what a Cameroonian journalist is tweeting about arms and Boko Haram

Cameroonian investigative journalist, Bisong Etahoben, tweeted yesterday that a close confidant of Chadian President IIdriss Derby, Mahamat Gnoti was arrested on Nov. 17th on the Chadian-Sudan border with arms meant for Boko Haram.

Gnoti then claimed that he was sent to procure the arms and deliver it to people in Nigeria by Chadian president himself, Idris Derby. Derby is the same person who tried to negotiate the release of Chibok girls with Boko Haram on behalf of the Nigerian government. See more tweets after the cut…



98.9% of Itsekiris Totally Reject The Naming Of EPZ To Reflect Gbaramatu – Poll

Will Be Happy For EPZ To Be Moved Out Of The State Instead Of Forcefully Calling Project Ogidigben Gbaramatu EPZ Project

As the battle continues between President Goodluck Jonathan and the ijaws on one hand and the Itsekiris on the other hand regarding the EPZ project, The Itsekiri Chat Group (ICG) an umbrella body for all itsekiri online carried out a survey about The proposed co-naming of the Ogidigben EPZ project to reflect Gbaramatu an ijaw settlement in Warri Kingdom

The need for the survey became necessary to know how the average itsekiri man will feel if President Jonathan succeeded in forcefully including his ijaws kinsmen as joint owner of land and project that that is sited in Ogidigben an Itsekiri community

In carrying out the survey the following information was given to respondent, there after a set of two alternative answers where given for respondent to choose from.
Information
For the EPZ project to remain in Ogidigben, It has to be renamed Ogidigben/Gbaramatu EPZ project there by making the ijaws a joint owner of the EPZ land (Kpokpo An Itsekiri Land).

Option 1. Project Should be renamed Ogidigben Gbaramatu EPZ project thereby making the ijaws co-owners of the land as this is the only alternative for EPZ to remain in The State.

Option 2. The government can move the project to anywhere they like as we will not make give the ijaws any part of our land by making them co-owners of the project.

Result

EPZ QuestionnaireThe Result of the questionnaire said it all. Of the 99 respondent that took part in the exercise, 98 of them choose option two, which was a clear warning to the government that the Itsekiri people will not be intimidated in giving out any part of their land to the ijaw for their expansionist agenda.

The following are some of the remarks made by Itsekiris about federal government bias on EPZ project.

I wonder why so much ignorance and debate on this subject. I really don’t understand why the Nigeria government is dealing so unfairly and unjustly. Why can’t EPZ just be named as Delta Gas City Project as suggested. The same can also be named of the seaport – Delta Gas City Seaport. Why is this so difficult for the government to do. Do we have to name a project by the place it is situated if it’s going to bring another war? This is a project that will hopefully bring development to Delta State and Nigeria’s economy as whole. I guess some just don’t want the project in an itsekiri’s land and just want to see to it that it’s not situated there. Regardless of its benefit to the country. Since it has been agreed for EPZ to be named as GRIP, our leaders should return with the seaport being named the same after Delta State so that both projects become communal and bring development to the people of Delta State.

Let us not bow to those cheap blackmails. as for me instead of giving away our right because of this project let Diezani take it to her village because it will stand as a reference in the near future to further fulfil thier ambition to claim all our lands God forbid. Diezani is very insultive.

Hmm u all have spoken well. BT d truth most be told, ITSEKIRI’S are not greedy people, let take CHEVRON for an instand, CHEVRON main project is in UGBORODO, hw many persons are CHEVRON STAFF? DAT Land is ours, it becos ITSEKIRI’S are minority DAT y we have been treated like dis. God has bless d ITSEKIRIS NATION and no one can change DAT fact. If its not OGIDIGBEN EPZ government and ijaws should take d project do another location. A lot of ijaw graduate from OGIDIGBEN GRAMMAR SCHOOL y dey Neva complain of d name den. If Mr President is giving d ITSEKIRIS options on dis he’s not been fair and been tribalistic. Nigeria is a nation to all and not to d IJAWS only.

If we can not have it as planned the Jonathan and his kinsmen can piss off for all I care this will teach Itsekiri a lesson. Look at your Ijaw counterpart and copy the right thing.

We can’t sell our birthright for money…let them take it away, before EPZ we had life, we v been living out live as a tribe. We still stand outright

Esau sold his birth right for a plate of pottage”. Please we should not trade our birth right of our God-given Properties because of jobs. If EPZ is relocated, another thing will come, the Itsekiris are blessed people. In fact, we should start diversifying, we should deviate a little bit from oil and start thinking, creating and developing in other sectors than in the Oil Sector.

To me i will either go hungry than sold my concision and give out my own property if the name can not remain as Ogidigben Project then let us and the Ijaws loose it Useless militants

One begins to wonder if President Goodluck Jonathan is an Ijaw president or president of the whole country. This same president was in Okereghrigho an Itsekiri land to commission a university project for his ijaw kinsmen without including the itsekiri landlords.

Only time will tell if the Itsekiri are safe under the present administration.

GOV UDUAGAN FAILED THE ITSEKIRI PEOPLE (STATE OF THE ITSEKIRI NATION)

6th November, 2014

His Excellency,
Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan,
Executive Governor of Delta State,
Government House,
Asaba.

Your Excellency,

RE: STATE OF THE ITSEKIRI NATION UNDER YOUR GOVERNORSHIP

After several fruitless efforts to have an audience with you on matters affecting the Itsekiri Nation, we were compelled to write you a private letter titled, “State of the Itsekiri Nation under your Governorship” on 12th December, 2013.

2. In the letter, we raised some issues which were dear to the Itsekiri nation and sought your intervention on them. Unfortunately, the issues have remained unattended to and with your tenure running to an end, we feel morally and duty-bound not only to remind you of the general dissatisfaction of Itsekiri people of your contribution to their progress and development, but more importantly to further reveal your known attitude on some matters which affect Itsekiri. History will not forgive us if we do not speak out now.

3. Some of the issues raised in the letter under reference which you did not respond to are still germane and are here listed below:

4. TRANS ODE-ITSEKIRI ROAD
This road was conceived by the James Ibori administration. The road was billed to link Warri metropolis with Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri) and its adjourning communities. It was to take-off from Ubeji through Ifie town and across the Warri River to Ugbodede, Orugbo and terminate at Ode-Itsekiri with connecting roads to Ajigba, Inorin and Usele Communities.

5. Today what was supposed to be a laudable project and a rebirth for the Itsekiri nation is now seen as little works done from Deeper Life Road, Ubeji in Warri to Matrix Nigeria Limited at Ifie in Warri. Sadly, part of the other connecting roads earlier constructed at Ode-Itsekiri, Inorin, Ajigba and Usele are now failing, even without vehicles plying them yet, due to poor construction work. Apparently, the design and materials used and the quality of work done on the roads, were not meant to withstand the swampy, rain-belt terrain of the area. The major work which is the construction of a bridge across the Warri River to connect Warri through Ifie town to Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri) is yet to commence. Ironically, what now looks like an abandoned bridge will constantly stand out like a sore thumb to remind the Itsekiri of the contribution of your political era to their history vis-à-vis, Chief Festus Okotie Eboh and the Rewanes.

6. UBEJI/REFINERY ROAD:
As you very well know, the Ubeji/Refinery Road is the only access road to thriving Itsekiri communities of Ubeji, Egbokodo, Ifie, Ijala, Omadino, Obodo, Ode-Itsekiri and the adjoining towns/Villages, if the proposed Ode-Itsekiri road becomes a reality. These communities are jointly home to the largest concentration of Itsekiri people anywhere on earth as well as host to major oil and gas projects. It also serves as the only link road to other communities like Jeddo, Ughoton, Egbokodo (Urhobo), etc. That it is the only road that leads to these communities is bad enough, but worst of all, owing to the activities of tankers and heavy vehicles which go to and fro, the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, the Nigerian Gas Company and the private jetties for lifting of refined oil at Ifie, the two-lane-road has become almost impassable for residents of the communities between 6:00am and 11:00pm daily. Without exaggeration, the road is the worst in Nigeria! Indeed, the Ubeji Road is a classical case of failed corporate social responsibility, failed governance as well as government’s insensitivity. There have been cases of people who needed emergency medical attention who lost their lives on the road before they could get to  hospital at either Warri or Ekpan as such journeys on heavy traffic period, could take 6 – 7 hours; a journey that should ordinarily not take more than 15 minutes. Many pregnant women have also been known to deliver babies in the heavy traffic jam.

7. We are aware that a contract for the rehabilitation of part of the road was awarded to a company known as ARC (whatever that means). However, we quickly want to observe that the road as it is now is in such a sorry state that it cannot withstand the heavy vehicles that lift oil from the jetties.

8. EKUREDE ITSEKIRI ROAD:
This is a road that links the Ajamimogha/Okere expressway to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) by-pass. We observe that a contractor is already constructing the drainage for the purpose of rehabilitating the road. However, we note, strangely, that the exercise has drastically reduced the width of the road from its former four-lanes to two- lanes road. It is now impossible for two cars, driving at opposite directions (with a car properly parked on either side) to pass the road freely. The road, being the one that links two expressways should be a free-flowing 4-lane road. Even then, the poor drainage has rendered many residents homeless due to flooding. Life there was better before the so-called road construction started.

9. KOKO/UGBENU ROAD:
The road is supposed to be a dual-carriage road from Ugbenu on Benin-Sapele-Warri Highway to Koko. Not just that, it is the only access road to the proposed Koko/Ogheye/Lekki Road that will connect many Itsekiri communities like Jakpa, Gbokoda, Tebu, Ajamita, Ogheye and others to the metropolis. Today, not a lane has been completed after nearly six years of construction. As it is common with road projects executed by your Government, some parts of the work done are now failing. The former road which was torn apart for construction work was built by Chief Okotie Eboh in 1965 and it was a delight to drive on and unarguably one of the best roads in Nigeria until you destroyed it. The quality of the work done and the duration of the construction are embarrassment. Worst of all, the contractors are no longer on site, yet the full amount of the contract work has been in every year’s budget for the past five to six years. Do we need to remind you of the Koko stadium that also appears in the state’s budget every year, yet it has long been abandoned?

10. THE UGBORODO & KOKO FORE SHORE PROTECTION:
The Ugborodo and Koko Fore Shore Protection projects were long ago awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) even before you came in as Governor in 2007. We know that the Contractors have been financially mobilized for the jobs and yet nothing has been done and now the contracts have been abandoned. Recent government audit reports recommended that the contractors should be sanctioned and that, the jobs should be re-awarded to other contractors. Your government could have intervened by calling on NDDC to direct its contractors to be mobilized to site or to re-award the contracts to other contractors and seek appropriate sanctions on the erring contractors. Today, Ugborodo and Koko are suffering from devastating sea erosion, especially, the former which has virtually disappeared beside mighty Chevron.

11. OGHEYE ULTRA MODERN CONCRETE FLOATING MARKET
The Ogheye Market in Warri North Local Government Area is one of the oldest markets in Itsekiri land and has spanned over a hundred years. It was a melting pot for traders from various Itsekiri and Ijaw communities in Warri North and Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State as well as Ilajes from Ondo State. Knowing the importance of this market to the local economy, the Ibori administration awarded a contract for it to be upgraded to an Ultra Modern Concrete Floating Market.

12. The Itsekiri lauded this as the market which would ignite commercial activities in the Benin River axis which came down during the Warri crisis. The market would also encourage some displaced persons now living in Warri and Sapele to return home and fend for themselves. Again, this project has been abandoned by your administration.

13. That is not all, we are also very sad to note that no single school building in Itsekiri communities in Warri North Local Government  Area (your own Local Government  Area), except perhaps only in your village, Abe-Ugborodo, has been built or renovated by your Government in spite of the major renovation work you carried out all over the State. As a result, today, in a reversal, Itsekiri as a people are lagging behind their immediate neighbours in education in terms of infrastructure, enrollment and products.

14. CULTURE OF IMPUNITY IN WARRI TOWN:
Warri Township is an old town founded before 1906 as evidenced by the Leases of 1906, 1908 and 1911 entered into between Itsekiri and British Government Representative. It is indeed, older than Port Harcourt founded in 1914 and even Tel Aviv in Israel founded in 1912. It has a special place in Nigerian history. But sadly, what we see in the town today does not reflect its rich history, tradition and civilization. It has become the city of impunity – it is dirty, with no drainage and its residents are lawless, with illegal structures and caravans, dominating some of the streets. This is due to the inability of government to enforce the applicable laws as it is done elsewhere. It was only recently that the Delta State Government embarked on demolition of illegal structures to make the state cleaner (and we know why). Beyond the demolition, nothing happened. Warri is still as dirty as it was and the illegal structures and caravans are back again.

15. Warri still remains the only major town in Nigeria where public roads are blocked for ceremonies – ranging from burials to marriage parties.

16. WARRI/UVWIE BOUNDARY ISSUE VIS-À-VIS WESTERN REGION OF NIGERIA LEGAL NOTICE (WRNLN) NO. 176 OF 1955:
We heard that the land which Texaco Nigeria Limited is now occupying in Warri is being claimed by Uvwie Local Government Area against both legal and historical facts. We counseled for your Government to take urgent steps to establish the boundary between Warri South Local Government Area and Uvwie Local Government Area vis-à-vis WRNLN No. 176 of 1955.

17. Please recall that this boundary issue was one of the remote causes of the Ekpan and Ubeji crises in 1978 which led to the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice B. A. Omosun.

18. The Government White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry into the Riots and Clashes between Ekpan and Ubeji Communities known as Official Document No. 2 of 1978 at page 5 stated thus:
“(ii) Recommendation – Physical demarcation of the boundary between Warri Local Government Area and Ethiope Local Government Area using information based on L.N. 28 of 1951 as modified by W.R.L.N. 176 of 1955. The controversial mile post 3/60 on the Warri/Sapele Road is to be re-established by the Ministry of Lands and Housing and the opening up of a road 50feet wide on each side of the centre along the tract where it crosses the Tori Creek undertaken.

Comment – Government is aware of the problem of boundary line between the Warri and Ethiope Local Government Areas. Steps will be taken to establish a permanent demarcation line between the two Local Governments.”

19. Government is yet to implement the recommendation and carry out the undertaking. The pillars of WRLN 176 of 1955 are in situ. Government has to show political will to acknowledge them.

20. TAKING ITSEKIRIS BACK HOME:
As a result of the Warri Crisis, many homes were destroyed and burnt. Many Itsekiris who were dislocated from their homes in the riverine areas moved to Warri, Sapele and other urban cities in Nigeria due to the sacking of their communities and the fear of insecurity. Today, all these villages have been deserted with no specific plans to enable them to return home. Studies show that apart from the sense of insecurity, the major influence that would attract and make the dislocated Itsekiri people return home and keep them in their villages/communities is employment opportunities for them by the establishment of local industries, empowerment or other means of self sustenance. In addition, there must be assurance of security of lives and properties.

21. Itsekiri communities are the leading oil and gas producers in Delta State, they have nothing to show for it. Contracts are awarded, not necessarily for the projects/programmes the people need, but for the financial benefit accruing to political cronies. In nearly all the cases, the projects are either poorly done or abandoned. The common projects are solar lights and boreholes which are awarded at astronomical costs and yet they rarely function. They are nearly all cramped in Warri, Ubeji and Ifie.

22. Your administration in spite of the abundant skills and competence in the state, takes a position where meritocracy has taken flight from the state. Interestingly, the problem of your administration in relation to the Itsekiri is further compounded either intentionally or by omission by the fact that most of your political appointees and imposed “elected” (or selected?) officials lack knowledge of the history, geography, sociology, interest and psychology of the Itsekiri people. You have been satisfied to work almost exclusively with the few Itsekiri you reared and the ones inherited from your cousin, James Ibori.

23. THE 2014 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION
It was with utter dismay and disgust we witnessed the sham, the impunity and the joke, which was passed on as local government elections in Delta State, especially in Warri North, Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of the State. The elections were not only marred by violence, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and other irregularities. Many areas witnessed late arrival of voting materials. As a matter of fact, voting did not take place in many Itsekiri communities mostly in Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas, and yet results were declared and those who purportedly won the elections were sworn in less than 48-hours after. We condemn the reprehensible exercise as it does not represent the true spirit of democracy and it is also an affront and rape of the Itsekiri sensibility. The Local Government elections are condemnable and we strongly condemn them.

24. We even find it more disheartening that you could contact Barrister Festus Keyamo on election matters that affect Itsekiri, while you ignored Itsekiri leaders and key stakeholders on such crucial issues. How did Itsekiri come to this?

25. A scenario which witnessed the substitution of Hon. Oritseweyinmi Omadeli (an Itsekiri) as PDP Chairmanship Candidate for Warri South-West Local Government Area by Hon. George Ekpemupolo, (an Ijaw) in violation of your own rotational arrangement, less than 48 hours to the election and contrary to the Electoral Law, speaks eloquently of the impunity and the disdain which the Itsekiri have been subjected to in your Administration.

26. Although the process that threw up Hon. Omadeli wasn’t transparent and he couldn’t have been the best material Itsekiri could offer, but having been nominated by the PDP and presented with the party flag, to substitute him with an Ijaw in an ethnically volatile Warri South-West Local Government Area 48 hours before the election is another indication of your contempt for the Itsekiri people. We say without equivocation that Itsekiri has been traded off by you for interest other than our collective one.

27. YOUR POLITICAL JOURNEY AND ITSEKIRI
Your Excellency, we look back with sadness and regrets when in 2007, we presented you to the Isokos where your intention to run for the governorship election was made public for the first time. It was out of love, expectations and hope – being an Itsekiri and with the conviction that your tenure would usher in progress and development in our land, ravaged by communal crisis. We thought we had another Okotie-Eboh in the making in you. Our love and support for you was not less than that of those hanging around you now. If you demand why we have to write you this letter and take this stand: this indeed, is our answer. Not that we love you less, but we love Itsekiri more.

28. Generally, the state and particularly the Itsekiri Nation has not fared well under you in spite of your nearly 16 years in Government. In almost every decision, policy, action or inaction, you have consistently compromised Itsekiri for your personal, political, family or group interests and survival. Over the years, you have overplayed the game of numbers to the detriment of the Itsekiri. Your administration has not only been detrimental to the development of Itsekiri, but has set us back by at least 40 years. What can we today point to as your greatest contribution to the Itsekiri nation after 16 years in Government? Yet you have a desire to further represent Itsekiri interest in the Senate.

29. We have read Festus Keyamo’s letter as published in the Vanguard of 30/10/2014, wherein it was revealed that you consulted him on the trade off of Itsekiri political interest in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Did you ever consult Itsekiri leaders on any issue, decision, policy or action before you traded off their political rights in Delta State over the period of your governorship ranging from ward delineation to House of Assembly seats or in any other matter affecting the Itsekiri people? Answer: Total abandonment and neglect of Jakpa/Bateren/Bobi/Deghele Sector, Ugborodo Sector – nowhere, Omadino-Obodo Sector forgotten and Warri metropolis neglect and impunity.

30. The irony of it all is that, in your difficult times particularly during your three election travails, the Itsekiri nation rose up, stood by you and gave you unflinching support beyond the ordinary. How have you repaid the Itsekiri? Could your payback be the era of violence of Itsekiri against Itsekiri that your administration has introduced? Could it be the lawlessness, impunity, imposition, lack of respect for constituted authorities, greed, wickedness, cheating and break-down of the age-long traditions, customs and culture of the Itsekiri which your administration and some of your disciples have introduced into Itsekiri nation? Could it be the non-existence of, dilapidated or collapsed infrastructure and amenities in Itsekiri communities? Could it be your well known agenda to impose unpopular and failed political boys on the Itsekiri people both in the State and National Assemblies? Could it be your ambition to contest the senatorial seat zoned to the Itsekiri that has made you trade off Itsekiri political rights in the face of your monumental failure in the eyes of the Itsekiri people? In the face of all these, we decline to give our support to your alleged senatorial ambition.

31. Our observation clearly shows that the Itsekiri nation has been taking for granted for so long because of the philosophy of “otene ren or omere ene ren, a jutsi” (He is our son or bother, leave him alone).  For us it is now too late for you to make amends. You have missed the boat.

32. Your Excellency, our expectation was that you would create a platform where we could discuss these matters with you face-to-face to enable us hear directly from you, take the appropriate early steps you intend to take to implement the above plans/proposals, which we honestly and strongly believe would have enhanced and strengthened your legacy as the Governor of Delta State. Unfortunately, this has not been possible since we are apolitical and perhaps, think we are of no electoral benefit to you. As God would have it power is transient. As they say on the streets of Warri: “soldier go, soldier come, barrack remain”.

33. We have sent this letter to you not with the intention that anything significant can still be done or that you would make amends within the short time you have left in Government, but to inform you that we intend to publish it for posterity.

34. We are also aware that as usual, on the receipt of                                     mm
this letter or its publication in the national dailies, you will, unwisely, unleash your “goons” and “foot soldiers” on us; we are not afraid of that. Itsekiri interest is our primary driving force.

35. We have done no more to you than Itsekiri shall do to us if and when we sacrifice the collective interest of Itsekiri for personal political gain.

Signed for and on behalf of the
Committee of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought

IJAW THREAT OF WAR AGAINST ITSEKIRI AND PRESIDENT JONATHAN’S REFUSAL TO PERFORM THE GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY OF THE OGIDIGBEN EPZ

BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY

EDWARD O. EKPOKO, ESQ. SECRETARY, ITSEKIRI LEADERS OF THOUGHT

 

The Itsekiri people and other well meaning Nigerians are surprised at the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to commission the ground-breaking ceremony of the EPZ project site at Ogidigben, Ugborodo in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State today, the 14th day of November, 2014, due to the threat of Ijaw militants mostly of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

  1. The EPZ project is completely sited in Ogidigben, an Itsekiri town in Ugborodo in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. The closest Ijaw enclave which lies to the South is Yokiri, and it is about 14km from Ogidigben. The other town which lies to the North of Ogidigben is Kpokpo. Between Kpokpo and Ogidigben are other Itsekiri villages like Madangho, Ajudaibo, etc. It is this Kpokpo that even has no geographical contiguity with Ogidigben that the Ijaws of Gbaramutu are using as bridge-head to lay claim of ownership to certain parcel of land earmarked for the EPZ, just as the Ijaws of Ogulagha are using Yokiri too.
  2. Kpokpo is an Itsekiri settlement owned by the Ugborodo community and its ownership has been settled judicially in Suit Nos. MCC/4/71: GODSPOWER OKOTUROH (of Ugborodo) (Itsekiri) vs. OGBABURO (Ijaw) and MCC/37/71: GODSPOWER OKOTUROH (of Ugborodo) (Itsekiri) vs. BURUTU (Ijaw) as belonging to the Ugborodo people.
  1. The Ijaw of Gbaramatu Kingdom, wholly, live on lands own by the Itsekiri people of Omadino and Ugborodo Communities as customary tenants, as pronounced over the years by courts of competent jurisdiction. In fact, Okerenghigho (now called Okerenkoko by the Ijaw) on which the Marine Dockyard and the Maritime University is built is on Omadino (Itsekiri) land. In 1962, the Itsekiri people of Omadino in Suit No. W/30/1962: CHIEF E. E. SILLO & 2 ORS (for themselves and on behalf of Omadino people) vs. JAMES ULUBA & 2 ORS (for themselves and on behalf of Okerenghigho people) sued for possession of title to Okerenghigho, rents and injunction. In a Judgement delivered on 3rd October, 1969, the court entered judgement for the Itsekiri people of Omadino. Part of the judgement read,

“I am satisfied that the village land Okerenghigho which is the subject matter in dispute in this case falls within the area described in the claim in Suit No. W/29/51 in respect of which the then Supreme Court (now High Court) declared Plaintiffs (i.e. Itsekiri people of Omadino) owners…Although it will now be superfluous to grant a declaration of possessory title of ownership to the Plaintiffs, for the avoidance of doubt, I hereby grant it as claimed in respect of Okerenghigho…”

  1. The Ijaw appeal to the Supreme Court in SC/294/70 was on 31st January, 1973 dismissed by Elias C. J., Sowemimo and Ibekwe SC JJ.
  1. Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the seat of their warlord, is in Ugborodo (Itsekiri land). The Ijaws settled there with the permission of the Itsekiri people of Ugborodo. This was confirmed in Suit No. W/124/76: BABINE EREKU & 3 ORS (for themselves and on behalf of other members of the Ugborodo Community) (Itsekiri) vs. OSUKE AKONU & ORS. The Oboro, Gbajor and Nehi families of Benikrukru, Gbaramatu (Ijaw) were the 2nd set of Defendants in the suit. At page 57 of the Judgement, the court held, inter-alia,

“I accept the evidence that Oboro, Gbajo and Nehi were descendants of Fifowei, son of Osako (Ijaw) who migrated from Gbaran less than 200 years ago and were permitted by the Ugborodo (Itsekiri) people to settle at Uton-Ima which they (Ijaw) later renamed Oporoza, on condition of payments of tribute. I accept that the areas they settle include Ubefan, Ajatiton, Uremure, Kpokpo and Omidudun later renamed Benikrukru…I totally reject the traditional history put forth by the second set of Defendants (the Ijaw) tracing their descendants from Ijo from the Middle East” (words in brackets, ours).

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  1. We are therefore surprised how a customary tenant over night turns around and begin to lay claim to the land of his landlord.
  1. In an advertorial published at page 12 of The Nation of today, we cautioned President Jonathan that he sits above and beyond the ebbs and flows and the rough seas of the Nigerian Society, and as the father of all, he should ignore the baseless threats of war with Itsekiri from his Ijaw brothers and perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the EPZ. He didn’t heed to the warning but rather pitched his tent with his Ijaw warlords and did the wrong thing. Itsekiri, Nigerians and indeed the world now know that President Jonathan is pursuing an Ijaw agenda. This agenda is to exterminate the Itsekiri in their God-given land. Nigerians and indeed the world are watching. We will resist it and we will never be intimidated by threats of war and genocide against the Itsekiri.
  1. We have repeatedly called on our Ijaw brothers, including President Goodluck Jonathan, to build bridges across ethnic divides not only in the Niger Delta but in Nigeria but alas President Jonathan has by this action join the Ijaw militants in building fences among the ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. Time will tell the outcome.

Dated this 14th day of November, 2014.

EDWARD O. EKPOKO, ESQ.

Secretary, Itsekiri Leaders of Thought