By Peters Monday, Abuja
The Egbema Youth Political Forum (EGYPF) in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State has appealed to the governor of the state RT.hon. Sheriff Oborewori to reelect Ijaw as chairman of the Warri North LGA.
This was contained in an open letter written to the governor, signed on behalf of the organisation by Barr. Ebigbagha S. Baidi Executive Chairman, Comr. Karina E. Yoroki, General Secretary, Barr. Ejemi D. Ebiterigha, Spokesman and Barr. Odimiyentimi F. Eyenmi, Legal Adviser.
EGYPF highlighted that for the interest of justice, having Itsekiri the two commissioner positions, the state assembly seat of previous and current, Ijaws should be allowed to re-occupy the council chairman seat.
The group narrated that ever since the creation of Warri North LGA in 1991, the Ijaws in the council area have not produced the council Chairman but only the Itsekiri neighbours had been the ones occupying the council seat for 29 unbroken years.
According to the group, the menace in the past years had resulted in an ethnic crisis simultaneously that lingered for years if not the swift intervention of the former governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Authur Okowa who made Ijaw man, Hon. (Capt) Smart Yomi Asekutu the council Chairman for the first time in the history of the creation of the LGA.
The open letter reads, “Your Excellency Sir, it is with great joy that we the Egbema Youth Political Forum (EGYPF) in Egbema Kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State wishes to use this special medium to express our profound gratitude to God almighty for granting us the privilege to meet with the youth-friendly Governor of our dear State, Rt. Hon. (Elder) Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, the Executive Governor of Delta State.
“Sir, before we proceed further, we wish to happily congratulate you and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the deserving victory at the tribunal, and it is our earnest prayer that there shall be no further distractions throughout your administration to build on your MORE AGENDA.
“Your Excellency Sir, “Egbema Youth Political Forum (EGYPF) is a grassroots youth political forum with the vision and mission to work in synergy with our political leaders and the State Government to effectively advocate for equity, good governance and sustainable economic development to our people, particularly the riverine communities in Egbema kingdom.
“Your Excellency Sir, we wish to on this note formally introduce this body to you as our Father as far as Delta state is concerned, and to identify with you and have your guidance in our future undertakings.
“We are very much optimistic that your action-oriented vision-driven administration will surely make our dreams come to fruition having regards to your street credibility and your “MORE AGENDA” for sustainable economic development for deltans.
“Having said that your Excellency Sir, it is on record that the Warri North Local Government Area was created in the year 1991, a Local Government Area predominantly occupied by two ethnic Nationality (The Ijaws and the Itsekiris).
“Your Excellency Sir, Egbema Kingdom is one of the known largest Crude Oil producing areas, a host to Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Elcrest/NPDC and Conoil with over 150 oil wellheads and more are currently undergoing drilling.
“It is a fact known all over the world that, the good people of Egbema Kingdom are peace-loving people which we have demonstrated in the past if not the gross political marginalization would have resulted
Into the ethnic crisis between the Ijaws and Itsekiris.
“Your Excellency Sir, it is on record that ever since the creation of Warri North LGA in 1991, the Ijaws in the council area have not produced the council Chairman whereas only our Itsekiri neighbours have been the ones occupying the council seat for 29 unbroken years. This in the past years has resulted in an ethnic crisis simultaneously that lingered for years if not the swift intervention of the former governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Authur Okowa who made Ijaw man, Hon. (Capt) Smart Yomi Asekutu the council Chairman for the first time.
“To bring our facts to bear your Excellency, we most respectfully crave your indulgence to permit us to list out the names of persons that have occupied the Warri North council seat since its creation in 1991. They are as follows;
1. Mr C.N Nwaduba Acting chairman Sept-Dec 1991
2. Hon. D. Adams — Executive Chairman Dec 1991- Oct 1993
3. Mr. F. N Aghedo AG/C
Dec. 1993 – Oct 1994
4. Chief K. E Kartey — A/C Oct 1994 – 1995
5. Hon. S. Arenka — Ex/CM
Oct 1995 – Mar 1997
6. Mr. Jos Ochor — Sol/Ad
March 1997 – June 1998
7. Mr S. C Okoh — Sol/Ad
June 1998 – Jun 1999
8. Hon. B. Asin — Ex/Ch
2nd Jun 1999 – June 2002
9. Comdr O. O Oyibo — Ac/Ch
Jun 2002 – Jul 2002
10. Mr. O. Edward — Tran C/M
Jul 2002 – May 2003
11. Comdr O. O Oyibo — Ag C/M
May 2003 – Aug 2003
12. Hon. Prince Michael Diden
Transition C/M Aug 2003 – Dec 2004
13. Hon. Prince Michael Diden
Ex/Ch Dec 2004 – May 2008
14. Mr. G.N Okonta — Agt/Ch 2008
15. Hon. Godwin T. Ebosa — Ex /Ch
May 2008 – 12th May 2011
16. Comr Oyewu J. Nunu
May 2011 – Nov 2012
17. Evang David E. Edun
Tran C/Ch Nov 2012 – Oct 2014
18. Hon. Chief E. Maku Eyituoyor
Ex Ch Oct 2014 – Oct 2018
19. Comr O. D Akambe
Ag C/M Oct 2017 – Jan 2018
20. Hon. Aduge Okorodudu Ex C/M
Jan – 2018 – 2021
“Your Excellency Sir, the aforesaid names are those that have governed Warri North Local Government Area both in executive, Acting and on transition capacities since 1991, and these persons are exclusively from Itsekiri extraction in the council area that belong to both ethnic Nationality.
“Sir, it is an indisputable fact that the relative peace we are enjoying today in the council area was a result of the timely intervention of the immediate past administration of Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa who made the Ijaws to be able to produce the current council Chairman, in the person of Hon. (Capt) Smart Yomi Asekutu as the first Ijaw son in the year 2021 who has instilled peace in the LGA.
“Given the forgoing, your Excellency Sir, we wish to most respectfully appeal to the State Government to consider the good people of Egbema Kingdom for a second tenure for the LGA Chairmanship position in the forthcoming LGA Chairmanship election on the ground that, the Chairmanship position is the only position currently occupied by a son of Egbema Kingdom and nothing more.
“Your Excellency Sir, it is important to also note that since the creation of the L. G. A., the good people of Egbema Kingdom have not produced a State House of Assembly member, a House of Representatives or a Senator, nor have they been appointed for any sensitive position in both State and Federal levels. Our Itsekiri brothers are the ones producing the State House of Assembly members, House of Representatives and senators to date. Even though we have eminently qualified persons for such positions.
“Your Excellency Sir, the following list of Delta State House of Assembly members from Warri North L.G.A. since 1999 will further strengthen our case in demanding fairness. They are namely;
1. Hon. Megbele Francis 1999 — 2003
2. Hon. Misan Ikubenje 2003 — 2007
3. Hon. Imilar Irene 2007 — 2011
4. Hon. Imilar Irene 2011— 2014
5. Hon. Diden Michael (Ejele) 2015 — 2019
6. Hon. Martins Fred 2019 — 2023
7. Hon. Martins Fred 2023—
“It is a well-known fact that the Egbema people in the council area have more population and voting strength, which had been proven by the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), in the just concluded general elections.
“It is also our case that, appointments made by the State Government wherein two commissioner slots were given to Warri North L.G.A. and both slots were given to the Itsekiris to the exclusion of the Ijaws. This is nothing but an injustice to the people of the Egbema kingdom.
“Furthermore, in appointments of Special Advisers and the 44-member Delta State Advisory Council, no Egbema person was considered to be appointed despite having eminently qualified persons for such positions.
“The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides in sections 14(3) &(4)
3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies.
“(4) that the composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority “
“What has been done to the people of Egbema Kingdom by the state Government, most especially, the recent constitution of the state executive board and the control of the Warri North Local Government council for years without the Ijaws of Warri North Council is a clear breach of the constitutional provisions against our people.
“We shall therefore make the. Following demands.
1. That the Warri North Local Government chairmanship position be retained by an ijaw person.
2. That there shall be an equal rotation of all the elective positions between the Ijaws and the Itsekiris in Warri North Local Government Council.
“We can no longer bear this magnitude of injustice which is a clear breach of the constitutional provisions which make provisions for equality of Government representation in Nigeria as against what the ijaws of Warri North Local Government Area is suffering from both the state Government and our neighbors, the Itsekiris. We therefore request your immediate intervention.
“Your Excellency Sir, we wish to also passionately appeal to the State Government to consider the good people of Egbema Kingdom for further appointments into sensitive positions in the state and recommend us for Federal appointments to resuscitate our sense of belonging in Nigerian politics.
“Your Excellency sir, from all indications the aforementioned action has shown the level of inequality, marginalization and injustice done to the good people of Egbema Kingdom Politically.
“Your Excellency Sir, we wish to conclude by saying that, we are hopeful that your action-oriented administration will do its best to assuage the plight of the good people of Egbema Kingdom, considering your track records as a lover of grassroots development to consider our appeal and implement same for the sake of peace in Warri North Local Government Area.
“Thanks for your anticipated consideration of our request your Excellency, Sir”.