By Anita Godfrey
Ahead of 2023 Delta South Senatorial Districts PDP primaries, aggrieved youths under the auspices of Ogbe-Ijoh Defensive Forum, OIDF, have endorsed Prince BARNABAS AKPOHERE for the senate to represent the Delta South senatorial district come 2023.
However, Mr Barnabas Akpohere who hailed from Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta state was among the frontline gladiators of the senatorial seat of Delta South.
The group while making the endorsement in a press conference in Ogbe-Ijoh community, headquarters of Warri South West Local Government Area said a vote for Prince Akpohere is a vote for freedom.
The group in its address in a protest-like endorsement titled: OIDF ENDORSES SIR PRINCE BARNABAS AKPOHERE” said: “As a group, we deeply observed the political and mental slavery ahead of us where a group or tribe wants to grab all political positions and put the other group or ethnic nationality for bondage in the name of the majority while others minority. A move if not challenged bitterly now, the next generation & the residents of Ogbe-Ijoh and other Warri local govts will be in mental and political bondage.
“The angry Ogbe-Ijoh youths during the endorsement accused the Itsekiri of allegedly enslaving the three Warri LGAs, adding that they do not deserve the senatorial seat in Delta South.
The group narrated: “Like in the case of Warri South Local Government area of Delta State, instead of 3 tribes (Ijaw, Itsekiri & Urhobo) who are originally to share the 10 wards politically but one tribe (Ogbe-Ijoh Ijaws) are deprived of all political activities in the name of a minority but the same people who are enjoying enslaving their own closest neighbours politically went ahead to purchase form to contest Delta South Senatorial District election where they too (Itsekiri) are minority tribe, fear God!
Politics which ought to be very flexible and negotiable has turned into rigid and unnegotiable in the name of majority & minority.
“We are aware of the utterances made by HRM Ogiame Atuwatse Ill, Olu of Itsekiri with regards to the 2023 elections as it affects the 3 Warri local government areas. For the first time in the history of Warri South West, an Ijaw Son was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly in 2019, while in Warri North Local Government Area Ijaw people have not had the chairmanship position before we were considered 2021.”
The aggrieved Ogbe-Ijoh youth leaders called on all Isoko and Ijaw LGAs PDP delegates in Delta south to massively support Prince Akpohere and Isoko’s son to stop alleged Itsekiris marginalization in Warri Federal Constituency and Delta South Senatorial District at large.
“For clarity purpose, WSW is occupied by two(2) major tribes(Ijaw & Itsekiri)but since the creation of it, they (Itsekiri) haven’t allowed the Ijaws to occupy the House of Assembly and House of Representative not until God made it possible for our son Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor narrowly won in 2019 but those are the Itsekiri brothers who are in power for over sixteen (16) years and are still fighting to push him out for only 4 years just because of greed and power drunk.
“We are also aware that Itsekiri’s House of Assembly aspirants, leaders and delegates have been meeting, following the order of HRM, the Olu of Itsekiri for all aspirants and delegates to work for the consensus Itsekiri candidate for the position of DTHA, an attempt to stop Hon. Dennis Guwor’s second tenure ambition will be impossible with God.
“We, the entire members and the National Executives of Ogbe-Ijoh Interest Defensive Forum(OIDF) led by Engr. Okosu Smart urges all delegates and youths, particularly Ogbe-Ijohs, and all other LGAS in Delta South Senatorial District to work with all seriousness to free themselves from political slavery in Warri federal constituency.
“With the above highlighted political injustice against our dear Ogbe-ijoh Warri Kingdom and mostly the Warri South/Warri South West and Warri North Ijaws in Delta State in the name of the minority by Itsekiri Nation, we want to plead with all Ijaws, individuals and groups to withdraw their support from Itsekiri senatorial district candidates and give our support to the Isoko north candidate because (Itsekiri) are a minority in Delta South Senatorial District.
“Therefore, we appeal to all delegates in Patani, Bomadi, Warri North, Warri South, Burutu, Isoko South, Isoko North and Warri South West to VOTE massively for the most vibrant and qualified youth leader among other aspirants vying for the position of Delta South senator.
“On this note, the leadership of the Ogbe-Ijoh Interest Defensive Forum hereby endorses Prince Barnabas Akpohere as the next Senator to represent the good people of Delta South Senatorial District”, they added.