Says Ijaws must become next Governor of Delta State
By Binebai Princewill
A group operating under the aegis of Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Advocacy Group (DIGAG), has rubbished the President general of the revered Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), Chief Joe Omene over his recent statement against the Ijaws of Delta State not having the moral justification of seeking to be Governor of Delta State.
The group also described Engr. Omene as a merchant of conflict in Delta State, stressing that he is a neophyte in the Delta State politics.
The Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Advocacy Group (DIGAG) made their position known to newsmen in Warri earlier today via a statement signed by Comr. Okporu Augustine, Director General of the group, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers.
The Ijaw group while educating Chief Omene on his recent statement, insisted that there is no going back come 2023 for an Ijaw Governor.
The statement reads in full below:
5th of October, 2020
RE: IJAWS HAVE NO MORAL JUSTIFICATION TO SEEK TO BE GOVERNOR NOW: JOE OMENE IS A POLITICAL CHARLATAN
We are pushed to waste our precious time to reply the uncultured vituperation of one neophyte in Delta politics, Chief (Engr.) Joe Omene, who is regrettably the President-General of the revered Uhrobo Progressive Union (UPU). The said glorified novice in Delta politics, in his warped political calculations and wildest imagination said Ijaws are minority in Delta State and thus, have no moral justification to seek to be governor now.
Considering the type of words he spewed from his mouth with reckless abandon, we forgive him for feigning ignorance of the political history in the State. We however chose to reply him because he is the President-General of the apex Uhrobo sociocultural organisation.
For the crass knowledge of Joe Omene and his irks, we wish to put the records straight. Delta State as many enlightened Deltans know, is a heterogeneous State, a microcosm of the Nigerian federation which is made up of Anioma, Ika Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri, Ndokwa and Uhrobo ethnic groups. The Ijaws are the second single largest ethnic group after the Urhobos. The population of the various ethnic groups in the State cannot be not determined by the number of local government areas in the State. After all, the Ijaws and the Uhrobos had three local government areas each when Delta State was created in 1991.
What Omene did not know is that, the four local government areas of the Ijaws hold the ace to political victory by any political party in the State since 1999. No party in Delta State can win election without the Ijaw local government areas but one can win election in the State even without winning the eight Uhrobo local government areas. Former Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan lost the entire Delta Central Senatorial District in the 2011 governorship election yet he won in a landslide victory because we hold the ace.
Another thing Joe Omene and his co-travellers failed to know is that the Ijaws and their Itsekiri neighbours are the economic life wire of the State. Half of Delta State internal revenue is coming from the Forcados Terminal in Burutu LGA. Why then Joe Omene felt Ijaws have no moral justification to be become governor of this State?
Who should even have the moral rectitude to become the governor of the State between the Ijaws and the Uhrobos? Was there any zoning formula by senatorial district in the State? Since 1999 up to 2019 Uhrobo people have been contesting the governorship seat against other tribes. They do contest the seat through the major political parties in the State since 1999.
On the 22nd of October, 2014 UPU through an advertorial published in the Vanguard Newspaper declared that the governorship seat of Delta State was not zoned to any senatorial district and so the Uhrobos will contest it against other contestants from the north and south senatorial districts. Is Omene telling Deltans that he is no longer aware of the Agbarho Declaration in 2014 on Uhrobo governorship agenda?
Is it Uhrobo people’s exclusive right to contest in all governorship elections in the State but other tribes do not have justification to do so? People like Joe Omene who is living in a glass house should not throw stone. Delta State belongs to all of us. No ethnic group owns the State more than the other ethnic groups. God willing, the Ijaws will produce the next governor. Joe Omene and his selfish governorship seat hustlers should bury their ambitions and support the Ijaw people for the sake of our peaceful coexistence.
Signed: Hon. Okporu Augustine,
Delta Ijaw 2023 Governorship Advocacy Group (DIGAG)