NDDC: Itsekiri Groups Protest over Board Chairmanship

Sylvester Idowu

A coalition of pressure groups yesterday protested in Warri, Delta State, against the marginalisation of Itsekiri ethnic nationality from being appointed as the Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since its creation.

They insisted that the Chairmanship of the board of the NDDC should be granted to the Itsekiri ethnic nationality as of right this time around.

Hundreds of protesters, bearing placards with various inscriptions, staged a peaceful protest marching from Olu’s palace field with a brief stop at the palace entrance chanting various protest songs before stoping over at Igba of Warri kingdom, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor’s Ajamimogha office.

At her office, the Director of Medrick Cultural Centre, Mr. Frank Uromieyaghan, handed a copy of their demands for transmission to Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after, the leaders of the coalition and President of Itsekiri Interest Group, Mr. Gbubemi Awala; Mone Oris, the leader of Itsekiri Liberation Group and Mr. Mathew Igiogio, leader of Itsekiri Freedom Congress, respectively expressed regret that no Itsekiri person has ever been made head of the intervention agency in spite of being the highest oil and gas producing ethnic nationality in Delta State.

They, therefore, appealed to the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 111 and Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor to use their positions to impress on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an Itsekiri person this time around, applying the provisions of the NDDC Act as guide.

The groups noted that they have been reticent for too long and would resort to self-help if their demands were not met stressing that the authorities appears to be taking them for granted while yielding to the demands of other violent groups in the country.

Receiving the protest letter on behalf of Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, Mr. Frank Uromieyaghan commended the protesters for their peaceful disposition and assured them that their demand were legitimate.

He assured that their letter of demands would be promptly delivered to his principal whom he assured would speak to the relevant authorities on the need to do the needful.

The protesting coalition groups include: Itsekiri Interest Group, Itsekiri Freedom Congress, Itsekiri Liberation Group, Itsekiri Coalition for Good Governance, Iwere Women Consultative Forum led by Madam Queen Eweto and National Association of Itsekiri Students respectively.

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