By Binebai Princewill
The Western Zone Chapter of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Thursday vibrated following a remark credited to one Mr. Kelly Umukoro, alleged president of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) wherein he tries to make case for the Urhobo nation in the amnesty office who allegedly in the process insulted the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
The Western Zone IYC leadership while reacting to Comr. Kelly Umukoro warned that he should immediately apologize to the Ijaw nation and also withdraw his viral video from all social media platforms.
The IYC response is contained in a statement signed and issued to newsmen in Warri by Dr. Doubra Collins Okotete, Secretary, Ijaw Youth Council, Western Zone, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspaper.
Dr. Okotete maintained that if Umukoro refuses to heed to his warning by retracing his steps, he predicts that things may snowball to a fire that may not easily be quenched.
Doubra while clarifying members of the general public had noted that the Amnesty office with regard to its coordinatorship belonged solely to the Ijaw people being a people that fought and died for the Amnesty Programme.
Before laying claims to the Amnesty office, Okotete had particularly challenged Umukoro to name or mention any Urhobo settlement that was bombarded during the wake of militancy.
The statement reads in full below: “The attention of the leadership of IYC Western Zone ( Delta, Edo & Ondo States) has been drawn to an uncoordinated and unguarded online media utterances credited to Comr. Kelly Umukoro –Urhobo Progressive Union Youth President describing his words as rude, sour, insultive and provocative without having a background knowlege of what led to the formation of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Program. It’s pertinent we emphatically state here that the Armed struggle which led to the Presidential Amnesty Programme was basically a struggle by Ijaw people in the Niger Delta Region.
“First, let it clearly be stated once again that the Niger Delta Amnesty program was born out of the armed struggle by the Ijaw nation and it is basically for the Ijaw people. That is not to say other ethnic nationalities didn’t benefit from it despite the incessant attack on the Ijaw nation for a struggle Ijaw bloods were shared for. It is also worthy of note that the struggle emanated as a result of our displeasure against environmental challenges experienced by Ijaw communities as a result of oil exploration activities of multi-national oil companies in Ijaw communities across Ijaw nation which led to massive destruction of our eco-system leading to widespread poverty experienced in our region and the nonchalant attitude of international oil companies (IOCs) and successive governments at the center to the plight of our people including perceived injustices such as non-provision of amenities, non-provision of employment opportunities, and the refusal or delay in the payment of compensation to communities and the exploitation by oil companies in our region.
“Despite the sacrifices paid with the blood of our youths, other ethic groups within the Niger Delta Region including the Urhobo youths have benefited in the ongoing programmes such as education, skills acquisition both within and outside the country. Not forgetting so quickly how Ijaw youths were tagged all sorts of names including those infuriating words Mr Kelly Umukoro unguardedly used in his online insult pured on our dear Ijaw Nation.
“Ordinarily there’s no need joining issues with Mr Kelly Umukoro who naively said that the Presidential Armensty did not emanate from arm struggle and also referred to the Presidential Amnesty Programme as scam. This shows his height of naivness and uninformed state as regards the Niger Delta struggle but claimed he wrote a letter to Mr President for an opportunity recommending his Urhobo kinsmen for the position of S.A to Mr President on Presidential Amnesty which depict a pig who uses same mouth he or she uses to source for food on the ground to eat and feed his children.
“To set the records straight and correct his uncoordinated reasoning and self indicting statements, its important to caution that pouring insults on our revered leader High Chief Government Ekpomupolo Alias Tompolo indirectly refereing to him as one so called Niger Delta Leader who recently won a criminal case in court without going to court is very provocative and an outright insult on Ijaw nation and its worthy of note that High Chief Tompolo was only hunted for standing tall in defence of the Ijaw Nation and the Niger Delta Region at large. Likewise pouring insults and comparing our leader Alhaji Asari Dokubo who has constantly rise up in challenging the injustices meted on the Niger Delta region with one Mr Kelly in Urhobo Nation who was locked up by the Nigerian Security agencies for his nefarious activities resulting to killing, kidnapping and rapping of his own kinsmen and women is more than an insult. And this portends and clearly shows that the Urhobo nation is governed by psychophantic and dangerous element who is bent on formenting trouble with their sister ethnic nationalities. And it will be nice to hear Mr Kelly Umukoro published the names of Urhobo youths who fought gallantly like that the Tompolo’s, Asari’s, Young shall grow, Ogunbos, Fara-Dagogo, and other Ijaw Youths who stood firm and unwavering in the quest for the defence and development of the Niger Delta region amidst the height of intimidation from the Nigerian State or better still mention the Urhobo communities that were bombarded with fighter jets and destroyed in the heat of the struggle.
“It is truly needless, insultive, maddening and very provocative, pouring out such unguarded statements on our respected leaders who has sacrificed so much for the overall growth and betterment of the Niger Delta Region including the Urhobo nation. We forewarn Mr Kelly Umukoro and his cohorts to stop forthwith and retract his in-cautious and ill-considered remarks on our dear Ijaw Nation and also call on the Urhobo Leaders to call Mr Kelly Umukoro to order else it will be a bitter pill for all to swallow as the IYC will never entertain such madness anymore. We advice that a son that is psychiatric should rather be chained down rather than left wondering farmenting trouble and posing danger to his household, kinsmen or community.
“The Ijaw youths in the Niger Delta region have been in the forefront of the struggle since the first revolt spearheaded by Isaac Adaka Boro in 1966 and since then the struggle for the anticipation of the Niger Delta region continues till the issues raised are fully addressed. Bearing in mind that the Presidential Amnesty Mechanism initiated by our late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in June 25, 2009 was used to consolidate peace and to promote stability within conflict-affected communities who raised arm in agitating for a commensurate development of their communities and region but yet to address the key issues and challenges bedevlling the Niger Delta region.” Dr Doubra Okotete, Secretary IYC Western Zone.