By Binebai Princewill
Vocal pan Ijaw interest group, Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI) has thrown it’s weight behind Gbaramatu’s threat to shutdown oil facilities over underdevelopment of the Kingdom even as it pledges support for their aggitation.
National President of the group Comr. Austin Ozobo disclosed this through a press statement issued to newsmen in Warri on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by The Liberator Newspaper.
Ozobo noted that the Gbaramatu threat is not out of place and has nothing criminal about it but rather a wake up call to the Federal government of Nigeria to fast track the development of the oil rich kingdom as well as the entire Niger Delta.
The President posited that those “defending the illegalities of oil multi-national and the Federal government are enemies of Niger Delta region, and not speaking for Ijaw nation.
“There is no need to rebel against the Gbaramatu Kingdom agitation. The call for rapid development of the kingdom is in order” he reinterated.
He urged “people from other underdeveloped Ijaw Kingdoms” to “seize this avenue to agitate for the development of their Kingdoms and not to attack indegines of Gbaramatu Kingdom agitating for more government attention.”
He noted that ” Gbaramatu Kingdom is part of Ijaw nation and that Ijaw nation can’t betray her Gbaramatu kingdom, its development is also an added advantage to Ijaw nation. We can’t run away from the agitation of Gbaramatu Kingdom”. He said.
“The only annoying part of it, is that the struggle does not know her foot soldiers. The system is not fair and that sometimes it makes some people see the need to rebel against the system for survival.”
“But despite what, we must pursue a united front. We must be the keepers of our brothers and sisters in Gbaramatu. We can’t abandoned them. We must key into the current agitation for the rapid development of Gbaramatu kingdom.”
“Though, we have not been briefed but we will join them for the peaceful protest if we are briefed about it. We will support them as we have done over the years.”
“We want to urge president Buhari to critically look into the demands of the Gbaramatu kingdom in a view of providing the demanded infrastructures in the kingdom and provide increase funding for NMU.”
“We also call on those who are opposed to the position canvassed by Gbaramatu kingdom to sheath sword and rally round the kingdom for more government presence in the kingdom and Niger Delta region.”
While lamenting the negligence meted on the people of the area, the IPDI leader said “it is annoying that Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, is under funded, Gbaramatu floating ship/dock yard has been relocated to Lagos, the EPZ projects are abandoned, Warri-Escravos roads are no where to be found and decay in other infrastructures in the Kingdom are enough reasons to protest.”