By Binebai Princewill
A frontline aspirant for Ijaw National Congress (INC) presidential election, parent body of all Ijaws in the World, Barr. Fred Owotorufa has stated that if elected as president of the apex body of the Ijaws, he will tirelessly work to ensure the creation of more states for the Ijaws in the Nigerian state. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.
Speaking on Friday 16th of April 2021 at Peggy Hotel in Warri, Delta State during his declaration ceremony that was attended by critical stakeholders across Ijaw Kingdoms in Nigeria, the Zadobiri born orator cum epitome of knowledge and wisdom had while canvassing supports from the Ijaw critical stakeholders assured the entire Ijaw nation that if elected as president of INC, he will work hard to ensure that the age long issue of balkernization of the Ijaws into various states as minorities as well as other critical challenges faced by the Ijaws will be addressed seriously.
Barr. Owotorufa further stated that if given the chance to lead Ijaw nation, he will not only unite the Ijaws but to fight for resource control and anything that will benefit the Ijaws in Nigeria.
The Ijaw deity of knowledge Barr. Fred Owotorufa asserted that he is not speaking to impress or entertain the various dignitaries that thronged out for his declaration ceremony, stressing that he is poised to deliver quality and effective leadership to the Ijaw people.
Barr. Fred Owotorufa’s manifesto for a better Ijaw nation reads in part below:
Realign INC with the ideals of its founding fathers, to effectively push the vision of A Greater, United Ijaw Nation
Engage with traditional institutions, leaders of thought and the youths to advance the cause of peace in Ijaw land as the bedrock for wholesome and sustainable development
Work with relevant stakeholders, professionals, and leaders of thought to institute an appropriate security and intelligence architecture indigenous to the Ijaw nation for the protection and policing of all Ijaw communities and her territories.
Work with relevant stakeholders to make INC self-sufficient, self-reliant and accountable
Work with Ijaw leaders of thought, critical institutions of government, academia, professionals and the organized private sector, to articulate, formulate and drive The Ijaw Development Agenda. Key plans of the development agenda will include but not limited to:
– full participation in the oil and gas sector by Ijaw sons and daughters
– full participation in the maritime sector by Ijaw sons and daughters
– fully developed and functional seaports in Ijaw land
– And a robust education policy for children of the Ijaw nation with strong
-focus on Ijaw history, culture, arts, and science and technology
Work with Ijaw leaders of thought, professionals and development partners, to optimize the vast but largely untapped tourism potential of Ijaw land
Vigorously engage traditional institutions, leaders of thought, and relevant stakeholders to seek for the actualization of the remaining two (2) culturally homogeneous and geographically contiguous states namely Toru-Ebe, and Oil Rivers States which were part of the demands contained in the Ijaw National Memorandum that was submitted to the National Assembly in January 1996. Also, vigorously pursue the creation of more Local Govt Areas in Bayelsa State.
Partner with relevant stakeholders and governments at all levels, to address the issues of the marginalized, balkanized and deprived minorities of Ogbe-Ijoh/Isaba/Gbaramatu and Egbema Ijaws of Delta and Ondo States; the Arogbo/Apoi Ijaws of Ondo State; Eastern Obolo/Ibeno Ijaws of Akwa Ibom State; and wherever other place(s) in the Ijaw nation where such concerns may exist.
Continuously promote the primacy of Bayelsa as the spiritual, economic, cultural and political headquarters of the Ijaw nation globally
Engage with critical stakeholders of the Ijaw nation to articulate and push the Ijaw position on restructuring, resource control and resource management
Work with appropriate stakeholders to ensure the attainment of food security in Ijaw land
Ensure that the celebration of the Annual Ijaw National Day, The Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro Day, and the celebration of Ijaw icons past and present, become registered fixtures of our Ijaw national life
Promote the consciousness of Ijaw culture and heritage to Ijaw youths so as to engender deep pride in our youths of our Ijaw identity
Collaborate with relevant stakeholders and partners, to institute the teaching of Ijaw Language in our academic and leadership institutions from primary school up to tertiary level. This initiative will also see to the setting up and strengthening of Faculties of Ijaw Studies (Ijaw History, Culture, Language, Arts etc.) in our Universities and Leadership Academies
In conclusion, INC under my watch will continue to advocate the issues of Ijaw unity, equality, equity, justice and fairness that were propounded and propagated by our founding fathers so that the labours of our heroes’ past shall not be in vain.
Together, let us work towards A Greater, United Ijaw Nation Under God!!!