WARRI- The Ijaw youths council(IYC) world-wide has accused the Edo State Government for fanning the embars of ethnic crisis between the Ijaw and the Binis in the state by their attempted action to stop the coronation of the king of Olodiama kingdom in Ovia North Esat Local Government area of the state.
The Ijaw youths Council (IYC) rival Presidents in a statement signed and sent at separate times by Bar. Oweilaemi Pereotubo and Bar. Eric Omare have both taken a very stern position against the role played by the Edo State government by making attempts to stop the coronation of the monarch of Olodiama kingdom.
The two Presidents took a similar position saying that ‘‘The circular issued by the Government of Edo State in condemning the historic coronation of the Pere of Olodiama Kingdom in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the State is provocative. Such statement which is clearly an invitation to anarchy, is not supposed to be coming from a state government whose duty is to secure lives and property. The Edo State Government should not play partisan politics in the land disputes brewing between the Ijaws in the State and the Bini Kingdom.
‘‘The Oba of Benin kicked against the coronation of Olodiama King which has nearly resulted in a bloody clash between the Binis and the Ijaws of Edo State. The same thing also led to the embarrassment of our revered first class Kings led by HRM, Oboro Gbaraun II, the Agadagba of Gbaramatu Kingdom on the their way to the Ijaw Kingdom in Edo State whose Royal entourage was illegally and unconstitutionally obstructed by soldiers acting on the instructions of the Bini King’’
According Oweilaemi and Omare, ‘‘The ancient Olodiama Kingdom has been in existence for centuries in that part of the Country. This is not their first Kingdom. The Edo State Government in its infamous, childish and ill-conceived circular has not given any reason why it is criminalising the coronation of Olodiama King. Suffice to say that its acting for the whims and caprices of the Bini King who never want to see the existence of Ijaw Kingdoms in the State. Governor Godwin Obaseki should be wary of his actions. His clear partisanship in the age-long land dispute between the Bini Kingdom and the Ijaws in the Edo State is a clear violation of his oath of office. He should remember that he has sworn an oath to protect lives and property in the State.
‘‘The Ijaw nation will not fold its arm and allow the Edo State Government led by Godwin Obaseki and the land-grabbing Bini Kingdom to wipe out the Ijaws in the State from planet earth. No law in Nigeria that has forbidden the Ijaws to live and practice their customs in their fatherland. Since their Lands have been criminally balkanised into Edo State, the Government is constitutionally bound to give them equal treatments. The so-called Chieftaincy law the Government is relying to cover up its ethnic agenda is even at variance with the Government’s circular. What a show of gross ineptitude’’
They said, the Ijaw people of Olodiama, Gbarain, Okomu, Egbema and Furupa Kingdoms in Edo State are aborigines in the lands where they are living and were there for so many years even before the Benins came to their present land under the leadership of their own traditional institutions. The Ijaws of Edo State have never been under the traditional institution of any other ethnic nationality in Edo State or elsewhere in Nigeria.
The IYC leadership however, has congratulated the newly installed monarch, His Royal Majesty, the Pere of Olodiama Kingdom on his ascension to the ancient throne and wish him a successful reign over his people.