By Cletus Opukeme
All is now set for the 2022 Press Week Lecture/Award ceremony of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Warri Correspondents’ Chapel with the arrival of Ambassador Godknows Igali at the Osubi Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
Igali, who will chair the event holding on Wednesday March 23rd at the Casa De Pedro Hotel along Refinery Road, Effurun, Delta State, was received by a team of journalists led by the Chairman of Warri NUJ, Comrade Victor Okpomor.
Addressing journalists at the Osubi Airport upon his arrival from Abuja, the nation capital, Ambassador Igali, called for unity among the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta region with a view to developing the region.
Igali, who is the current Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), posited that Niger Delta like other region of the country needs to unite irrespective of their ethnic nationalities to move the region forward.
He lamented that one of the greatest undoings of the Niger Delta people is absence of unity among the various tribes in the region.
The former Nigerian ambassador to Norway, Sweden and Denmark, however, added that it was the disunity among the people of the region that necessitated the formation of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
“We are a people who have lived together for thousands of years and our forefathers never fought. There is nowhere in the history books that shows that the Ijaws were fighting themselves or Itsekiri fighting Urhobos or Isoko were fighting Urhobos or Ijaws were fighting Itsekiris.
“There were no tribal wars. There were little skirmishes between communities over fishing unlike the Yoruba who fought for about hundred years.
The point I am trying to make is that in other geopolitical zones of the country there are even more deep diversities in midst of bigger ethnic group. In the Niger Delta on the contrary have a closer history among ourselves.
“Our forefathers lived in peace but with modernism, oil industries where everyone is laying claim to land and politics we are now became diverse with various division. But having said that, there is always a new day. This was the basis when set up the Pan Niger Delta Forum to bring everyone together so that when there’s time speak, we can speak with one voice as Niger Delta”, he added.
The Warri NUJ Press Week/Award ceremony has the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and a former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi as Special Guests of Honour.
The event will features presentation of awards and recognitions of some distinguished personalities and organisations including a posthumous award on the former Zonal Medical Director, Central Hospital, Warri, late Dr. Toju Eresanara.
Also to be honoured at the ceremony included the Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Otefe-Oghara, Prof. Emmanuel Ogujor; Matrix Energy Group, Dr. Michael Tidi, Chairman, Warri South Local Government Area; and Chief (Hon.) Thomas Ereyitomi, member representing Warri Federal Constituency at the National Assembly.