INYC calls on Delta State Government to shun Ijaws demand for ward creation in Warri South LGA
The Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC), Warri South Chapter has called on the Delta State Government to shun the fraudulent protest of the Ijaw people residing in Warri South for the creation of more Wards in their favour.
The aggrieved Itsekiri youths who stated with references from different court judgement barring the Ijaws from demanding for wards and inclusion in Warri South LGA due to the fact that the Ijaws have no land to their name in Warri South, saying that those areas been occupied by the Ijaws majorly belongs to the Itsekiri people and the Government which they occupied forcefully after the infamous Warri crisis.
They made this call to the Delta State Government in a press briefing held recently in Warri arising from an urgent meeting of the executives of INYC Warri South chapter and chairmen of all Itsekiri communities in Warri South LGA.
The grieves group stated categorically that despite the fact that Nigeria is operating a democratic government where peaceful protest from any group is allowed and that the reasons the Ijaws are holding unto for their protest is laughable and can be likened to the Urhobos going to Burutu LGA to demand for wards.
"As at 1991 when Delta State was created and the defunct Warri LGA was divided into Warri North and Warri South LGA, everything about the Ijaws was found exclusively within the then ward 2 and ward 7 out of the 13 wards in the defunct Warri LGA"
"All Ijaws inclined Communities, polling units and ward where within the confines of the then ward 2 and ward 7 under Warri North LGA, but they were further distributed into Warri South-West LGA which was created in 1996. As at that time till date, the Ijaws do not have any stake in Warri South LGA ", the group stated.
The Itsekiri group also called on the Delta State Government and Naval Authorities to honour court judgement and immediately evacuate all illegal occupants from their land, saying that the Ijaws are aware of these facts.
The Itsekiri group went down memory lane to state categorically that the Ijaws are aware that the leases of 1906,1908 and 1911 which clearly define the ownership of all landed properties from the Nigeria Port-Authority (NPA), General Hospital area, A-division, Warri Main market, Ogbe-Ijoh market, McIver market, Catholic church, Alders town and other adjoining lands were all given to the colonial masters by Chief Dore Numa on behalf of the Itsekiri people.
"In 2006, 2008 and 2011 when the life span these leases became legally terminated, the total dimension covered by these leases goes back to the Itsekiri people who are the rightful owners. It is worthy to note that all sub-leases acquired from these areas derived their strength from these principal leases"
"The 1946 Supreme court judgement referenced: SC/450/65 and the most recent judgement delivered by Justice Marshall Mukoro completey barred the Ijaws from contesting any land in Warri South LGA ". The group avvered.
They further stressed that the Ijaws based their protest on land and properties acquired by Nigerians who are not Ijaws, Naval Authorities and the government as sub leases from the aforementioned leases during the infamous Warri crises to demand for ward creation in their favour, saying that these properties illegally and forcefully occupied by the Ijaws during the Warri crises were captured by the Commissioner for Special Duties on Inter-ethnic crisis and conflict resolution, Hon. Ovuzuore Mcaulay and compensation adequately paid and received by the illegal occupants to ease their relocation.
The renowned Itsekiri group who stated that the Itsekiri people are law abiding citizens who believed in the rule of law have vacated illegal properties occupied by them as directed by the government, but painfully no efforts have been made by the state government to evacuate the illegal occupants from their land.
In a chat with Warri Voice shortly after the press conference, Chairman of INYC Warri South chapter, Comr. Ofoyeju Izuage stated authoritatively that both the state government and Naval Authorities should honour court judgement by evacuating all illegal occupants from their in order to avert another crisis that is now imminent.