WARRI- Prominent Niger Delta Activist and leader in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West local government area of Delta state, High Chief Micheal Johnny has condemned the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami over the location of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.
Johnny, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress APC in Delta state, in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday 5th January, 2018, accused the AGF of deliberately trying to cause fresh crisis in Niger Delta.
He said ” as an Ijaw leader from Okerenkoko, my position is clear on this matter, I want peace among the Ijaw and Itsekiri in Warri South West local government, we are brothers and neighours and it will remain so, Okerenkoko is an Ijaw land, let’s live in peace”.
Malami had in memo signed by H.A. Tahir, dated October 17, 2017, to the Clerk of the National Assembly, advised the National Assembly to change the name of the location of the Nigerian Maritime University, from Okerenkoko, to Okerenghigho.
But, Johnny, the immediate Chairman, Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation said the Malami’s memo already reported in the media, is an attempt by the AGF to mislead the National Assembly, knowing fully well that the Nigerian Maritime University is located in Okerenkoko, an Ijaw community.
Malami was quoted to have said the correct location of proposed Maritime University in Delta State is Okerenghigho, not Okerenkoko.
According to Johnny, ” the AGF’s memo is another deliberate attempt to cause fresh crisis in Niger Delta, but let me remind Malami and his co-travellers in the already failed attempt to instigate ethnic crisis that we the Ijaws and the people of Okerenkoko are peace loving and law abiding, my people are not ready to go into war with the Itsekiri, not again, and whatever Supreme Court decision or Judgement which Malami is relying on is immaterial as the Ijaws and people of Okerenkoko would never accept any attempt to cede their land to anybody”.
Johnny said ” Mr. President, since you assumed office in 2015, you have made frantic efforts and commitment to restore lasting peace and security in the Niger Delta region. The peace and security that you have restored which we are presently enjoying in Niger Delta is being threatened by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami”.
It continued ” Mr. President, it will shock you to know that the erroneous and misleading memo issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami to the National Assembly to change the name of the location of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, to Okerenghigho a non-existing name is already generating tension across the Niger Delta region”.
He noted that it is unfortunate and embarrassing that Abubakar Malami, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN could rely on a mere petition and fraudulent non-existing Courts judgements to mislead the National Assembly.
” Malami’s advise as contained in his memo to the National Assembly to rename the location of Nigerian Maritime University from Okerenkoko, to Okerenghigho is mischievous, and worst decision ever taken by the AGF to deliberately want to cause fresh crisis between the Ijaws of Gbaramatu kingdom and our Itsekiri brothers in Warri South West local government area of Delta State”.
” I am an Ijaw man from Okerenkoko, where the Maritime University is located, the Itsekiri people cannot claim ownership of Ijaw land for whatever reason, therefore, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami should withdraw the memo immediately and apologize to the people of Okerenkoko for calling us tenants or strangers in our God-given land”.
” the statement by Malami that the proposed Maritime University is situated in an area belonging to the Itsekiri community in Delta State, “Okerenghigho, while “Okerenkoko” is the corruption of the name by the Ijaw settlers in that community,