Youth Leaders Seek Delta Traditional Rulers’ Intervention in Okowa, Clark’s Feud 

Sylvester Idowu in  Warri

The leadership of various youth groups in Delta State have urged traditional rulers to urgently intervene in the misunderstanding between Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark and immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

The youth groups, under the auspices of Delta State Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders Forum led by Comrade Weyinmi Agbateyiniro, said the intervention of the monarchs became necessary following media war between the two senior citizens of the state.

Agbateyiniro, who doubles as the President of Itsekiri National Youth Council, made the appeal yesterday when he led other leadership of the forum on a courtesy call on Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, HRM Maj. Gen. Felix Mujakperuo (rtd), Orhue 1 and Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council at his Palace in Orerokpe, Okpe Local Government Area of the state. 

He said the group, which is the Governing Council of the various ethnic nationalities youth groups of Ika, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ndokwa, Oshimili and Urhobo were in his Palace to congratulate him on his emergence as the Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council and also called the attention of the Orodje of Okpe and his entire Council members to the unpleasant news in the media over the interview granted recently by the Ijaw elder statesman, Chief Clark. 

Chief Clark had in the interview raised allegations of misappropriation of funds due to the oil producing communities in Delta State and a purported petition to the Economic and  Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Okowa. 

Speaking on the development, the Coordinating Chairman of the group appealed to Orodje of Okpe and other traditional rulers to intervene by appealing to His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Owa to prevail on his subjects not to do anything that could escalate the issue as being planned. 

Agbateyiniro said that the youths took it upon themselves to embark on the visit because of the ethnic dimension the issue was taking, adding “it is being rumoured that the Ika nation were putting in place a team, not only to respond to Chief E.K. Clark, but profile all the Ijaw leaders that have held offices in the state and nation. 

“They intend to raise questions about their stewardship and to possibly raise petitions against them as they won’t sit back and watch their very pride, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa being harassed in the media and with anti graft agencies,” he said. 

Agbateyiniro emphasised the need to sustain the unity and ethnic cohesion within the state noting that development does not thrive in an atmosphere of rancour. 

“Your Majesty, our visit therefore is to formally inform you about the threat and dangers the above may cause our state if not urgently addressed as it has potential to undermine the unity, harmony, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence within the State,” Agbateyiniro stated. 

Responding, the Orodje of Okpe commended the youth leaders for approaching the issue with utmost maturity and civility stressing that the Royal Fathers were equally troubled by the actions of the elder statesman and promised to immediately convene an emergency meeting of the Traditional Rulers Council with a view to intervening on the issue. 

He praised the youth leaders for the wisdom to reach out to them for intervention in order to save the state from another round of inter ethnic hostility and distrust. 

President of Urhobo Youth Council, Godspower Enerho, expressed appreciation to the monarch for the audience and assured him of the group’s readiness to partner with the Council whenever the need arises.

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