People of the ljaw ethnic nationality in Delta state have insisted they should be allowed to produce the next governor of the state for the sake of fairness, equity and their contribution to the socio-economic development of the state.
The ljaws rose from an enlarged meeting on Saturday in Warri, Delta state, where they assessed their socio-economic and political situation since the creation of the state in 1991 till date.
The meeting was attended by political, community, religious, youth, women and student leaders from across the Ijaw communities in Patani, Bomadi, Burutu, Warri West, South and North Local Government Areas of the state and arrived at far-reaching resolutions including a resolve to occupy Delta Government House come 2023.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting and jointly three Ijaw leaders, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, Alaowei Bozimo and Elder Edmond Tiemo, the group observed that they have been active players in the socio-economic and political affairs since the days of Western and Mid-Western regions, Bendel State and now Delta State.
The communique reads in parts: “ljaw leaders were at the forefront of the struggle for the creation of Delta State from the defunct Bendel State.
“The Ijaw people have made huge sacrifice and contribution to the socio-economic sustenance of Delta State.
“However, despite the human and economic contributions of the Ijaws to the sustenance of the state, our communities do not have commiserate infrastructural development.
“The Ijaw people over the years have strongly supported other ethnic nationalities of the State to produce the Governor of Delta State.
“The meeting took note of the fact that Chief Dennis Osadebey of the present Anioma was the Premier of the defunct Mid-Western Region, when it was created in 1963 with Chief Jereton Marierie from Urhobo as Governor.
“In the present Delta State, the Ijaws massively supported the emergence of Olorogun Felix Ibru and Chief James Ibori from Urhobo ethnic nationality, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan from the Itsekiri ethnic nationality and Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa from the Ika (Anioma) ethnic nationality as Governor.
“The meeting also noted that even though there was no agreement on power rotation, all the three senatorial districts have produced the Governor of Delta State.
Consequently, after critical and exhaustive deliberations, the meeting resolved as follows.
“In the spirit of fairness, equity and brotherhood, we appeal to the other ethnic nationalities of Delta State to support a Candidate of Ijaw extraction to become the Governor of Delta State in 2023.
“The meeting urged Ijaws to work in collaboration with other ethnic nationalities in the State to achieve the resolution to produce the next Governor of Delta State because we cannot do it alone.
“The meeting commended Governor Okowa for his strides in the infrastructural development of Delta State and his vision to build a stronger Delta State.
“The meeting also called on Ijaws to continue to support the administration of Governor Okowa and urged the youths to remain calm and maintain the existing peace in the State.”