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BREAKING: Crisis brews in Warri as Ogbe-Ijoh urban communities threaten for showdown over exclusion of DSIEC ward creation

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Ogbe- Ijoh protesters barricaded Warri South Council gate Thursday morning asking Gov. Ifranyi Okowa to allocate one ward to the Ogbe-Ijoh people in Warri South LGA. Photo by Cletus Opukeme

* Prosters barricade Warri South Council main  gate

* Call Gov. Okowa to direct DSIEC to delineate single ward for Ogbe-Ijoh urban communities

By Cletus Opukeme, Warri

Hundreds of placard carrying protesters from Ogbe-Ujoh urban communities have barricaded the main gate of Warri South council secretariat Thursday morning, calling on Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to bring justice by directing the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) to delineate just a single electoral ward for them in order to avoid repeat of what happened in 1999.

In a position paper presented to the press signed the following persons on behalf of the prostesters, Comrade Nathaniel Oronomoni, chairman Ogbe-Ijoh Concern Youths Warri Kingdom, Comrade Lot Loyibo, Coordinator Ijaw Delta Ijaw Political Assembly, DIPA, Warri South, HRH Jerry Prebor,Amananaowei of Meinbutus,  Etumadimane Dames,  Seyefa, Youth President Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom and Okosu Smart, IYC Chairman, Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom have warned that if justice is not seen to be done for the Ogbe-Ijoh urban communities by the DSIEC and Delta state government, they will have no other option than to resort to any possible means to draw the public attention for the connivance between DSIEC, Delta state government against them as minority tribe in Warri South Council.

The protester decried that their proposed ward has met all DSIEC requirement for ward creation in the state, yet they accused DSIEC and Delta state government of sidelining them in favour of the Urhobos and Itsekiris of Warri South Local government area.

See part of their position paper reads below:

We the Ogbe-ijoh Warri Kingdom Youths reject the lopsided and unfair creation of wards in Warri South LGA by DSIEC which was masterminded by Gov. Ifeany Okowa. In Line with the DSIEC request for application for wards creation in Delta State and Warri South Local Government inclusive, the people of Ogbe-ijoh Warri Kingdom through their administrative body, Ogbe-ijoh Warri clan Governing Council submitted an application.

All the necessary processes expected were duly meant and adhered to and the necessary information were placed before the DSIEC and the commission’s team physically visited our community in Warri further confirm our claims and show to the Dsiec team how the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom actually deserve to been created an homogenous ward for having regard to the so many years of oppression.

The historical and legal facts justifying the need for the homogenous ward for Ijaws in Warri South LGA are glaring for everybody to see especially considering the fact that the Itsekiris and Urhobos are controlling almost all the existing wards while the Ijaws in Warri South LGA are not controlling any which is an aberration and contrary to natural justice and fair play. It is wrong to be suppressing one ethnic group in a place occupied by three (3) ethnic groups.
It will interest the public to note that during the DSIEC ward creation exercise under the leadership of Justice Omo-Agege and as part of the Warri Road map to peace, the wards under the three Warri LGAs were negotiated by the three ethnic groups and in Warri South LGA, it was agreed that the Ijaws should have one wards which is the GRA ward in Warri South LGA. However, after the negotiations, when it was time for the LGA elections, the Itsekiris used their vantage position in the Uduaghan government to hijack the councillorship position of the GRA ward from Ijaws. This necessitated the Ijaw demand for an homogenous ward in Warri South LGA to avoid consistent conflict with the Itsekiris.

The public must also note that during the time of district councils, the Ijaws in Warri Urban District Council now Warri South LGA had two wards which were Ogbe-Ijaw 1 and Ogbe-Ijaw 11. These wards are now reduced to units under four different wards.

In the light of the above postulations, we condemn in it’s entirety the moves by the DSIEC and state government who are out to deprive the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom from having a ward in the newly created wards and the unfair consideration of itsekiris who are already controlling Ten (10) wards while leaving the Ijaws of Warri South LGA at a zero Position.

This is obviously the intentions of our traducers who are bent on not relenting until they see us elude the planet Earth, but our main concern is why the Governor whom we also gave our full support in his election in 2015 and re-election in 2019 to deliberately oppress us.
We want to categorically state that we reject this move by the state government, it is unacceptable and we say “NO” to this daylight robbery of what rightfully belongs to us as Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom.

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