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Delta PDP chairmanship: Itsekiri, Ijaw unity parley ends in deadlock




By Peters Monday, Abuja


The Delta Ijaws have appealed to their Itsekiri counterparts to allow Ijaw to produce the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.


This comes on the heels of the Itsekiri earlier visit to Ijaws to seek support to enable Itsekiri produce the party chairman as well.


Congress gathered that the widely reported meeting between the Itsekiri and Ijaw PDP leaders held at the residence of Alaowei Broderick Bozimo ended in deadlock as the Ijaw PDP leaders made counter appeals to their Itsekiri neighbours for support.


It would be recalled that on the 18th of June 2024, Itsekiri PDP leaders, led by the former Minister of State for Defence, Chief Roland Ortsejafor paid a visit to the Ijaw PDP leaders at the residence of former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo to demand for support for the state PDP chairmanship race.


Amongst the créme de la créme of the Ijaw political leaders that attended the meeting were: Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Sen. James Manager, Rt. Hon. Julius Pondi, Rt. Hon. Frank Enekorogha, Rt. Hon. (Chief) Funkekeme Solomon, Rt. Hon. Basil Ganagana, Chief Frank Omare, Chief J. T. Government, Hon. (Chief) Daniel Yingi;


Others were: Hon. (Chief) Peres Oloye, Hon. Asupa Forteta, Hon. (Engr.) Preyor Oboro, Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba, Barr. (Mrs.) Lyna Ocholor, Barr. New-world Safugha, Hon. Godwin Edumogiren, Chief (Mrs.) Georgina Eva, Chief Ebikeme Clark, Hon. Funyei Manager, Deacon Arede Edeimene, Hon. Patrick Mulah, Mrs. Eunice Braduce Angozi and Hon. Paul Kurugbe.


Also in attendance from the Ijaw extraction: Deacon Progress Dimaro, Hon. Amafini Akemetubo, Mr. David Bozimo, Doubra Baro, Hon. (Mrs.) Felicia Orounagha, Mrs. Mowoe, Chief James Nieketen, Hon. Spencer Okpoye, Rt. Hon. Godknows Angele, Dr. Jude Sinebe, Hon. Trophy Krifegha, Hon. Isaac Guana, Hon. Godbless Omoneye, Hon. (Dr.) Barry Gbee, Hon. Prince Opuofeni, etc.


According to a source in attendance, after exchange of pleasantries, the Itsekiri leaders mandated Chief Solomon Areyinka to present their purpose of the visit. The Itsekiri leader expressed appreciation for the bond both tribes shared over the years. On the strength of the existing bond between the Ijaws and the Itsekiris, he therefore solicited for the support of the Ijaws to enable Itsekiris to occupy the PDP Delta State Chairmanship position.


Chief Areyinka, after appealing for Ijaws support, commended the Ijaw leaders in anticipation of their support.


Responding, Rt. Hon. Franc Enekorogha who spoke on behalf of the Ijaw leaders thanked the Itsekiris for the historic visit. In his words: “this visit has not only shown the bond we shared together in many fronts, it has also further shown that the Ijaws and the Itsekiris are ever united to chat a common course. This bond of brotherly love should continue to exist between the two tribes.


“However, on your appeal for Ijaws support for the Itsekiris to occupy the PDP State Chairmanship position, we the Ijaws are also interested in that exalted office and we are supporting one of our own to occupy that office. Since an Ijaw son is vying for the office and we are unanimously supporting him to clinch the seat, we cannot give a commitment to the request of the Itsekiri PDP leaders”.


Enekorogha who was a former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and later member of the House of the Representatives concluded by saying that even the Ijaws intend paying a similar visit to their Itsekiri neighbours to garner support for the Ijaw aspirant. He advised that the channels of communication be left open for further deliberation.


The meeting ended in deadlock as both sides made cross appeal for support of their aspirants in the same office. The leaders after close of the meeting, took turns to enter group photographs.


In a statement signed by Mr. Tordos Waibode, the LGA Coordinator,

Delta Ijaw Advocacy Group (DIAG) has also faulted the Itsekiri campaign mantra of equity and fairness, adding that Ijaws are marginalised in the Warri three Local Government Areas in Delta State.


The statement reads, “On our investigation, we discovered that the Itsekiris have several persons vying for the office of the State PDP Chairmanship position, while the Ijaws have just one aspirant who is Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba. We also discovered that Chief Amgbaduba who was the immediate past Commissioner for Oil and Gas and also a former Chairman of the PDP in the Delta South Senatorial District has a unanimous backing of the Ijaws.


“No doubt, Chief Emma Amgbaduba’s stewardship as the Commissioner for Oil and Gas has brought limelight to that Ministry. He also made the Delta South PDP to the envy of all while occupying that office.


“However, the Itsekiri leaders tagged their request on equity, fair play and justice. In interrogating their request with the topic of equity, fairness and justice, one may ask: where’s the equity, fairness and justice when only Itsekiris are occupying the Warri South Council chairmanship position since 1999 till date when other tribes are also in the LGA?


“In Warri North LGC, Ijaws have only occupied the Chairmanship position once since the creation of the Council in 1991 and they have never been allowed to occupy the House of Assembly position. The same goes for the Warri Federal Constituency. One may ask once again, where’s the equity, fairness and justice?


“In talking about unity, our investigation showed that the Ijaws have displayed unity of purpose by unanimously collapsing their strength on one of the State celebrated best brains. Of course, Chief Amgbaduba commands support from PDP leaders across the three senatorial districts.


“Even members of the opposition parties who left the PDP are clamouring to return to the Party once Amgbaduba succeeds. No doubt, Chief Emma Amgbaduba’s stewardship will further brighten the fortune of the Party in the State”, he added.


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