Group Urges Tinubu to Include Itsekiri Nation in Governance

Ugo Aliogo

The Nigeria Human Right Community (NIHRCO) has urged President Bola Tinubu to include sons and daughters of the Itsekiri nation into the political  and economy governance of Nigeria.

The group lamented the exclusion of Itsekiri nation of Delta State from the political administration of the country, stating that though the ethnic contributes over $60 million in crude oil output per day to the economy, yet the people are left to endure the most degrading economic and political situations.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday, the immediate past Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, said the politics of exclusion, trampling underfoot of indigenous people including Itsekiri are largely responsible for instability in many communities.

He charged the federal government to review the pathetic state of Itsekiri people and the historic injustice they have suffered in the hands of successive government since 1960 and now renewed with vigour since 1999 when democratic government returned to Nigeria.

He remarked that in the last election, many prominent leaders in Itsekiri fully supported the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that though the Itsekiri nation produce 30 per cent of Nigeria total crude oil output, the history of the people has been that of exclusion.

Okotie-Eboh, who was represented at the event by Edgar Orisatimileyin, averred that in the midst of armed insurrection by some ethnic groups in the Niger Delta, the Itsekiri have never been involved in armed uprising neither are they involved in oil theft or destruction of oil pipelines.

He hinted that for decades the Itsekiri have suffered historic sidetrack relating to political and economic isolation.

According to him, “The Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri constitute the Delta South Senatorial District. A Senator of Isoko extraction currently represents the Delta South. Now, from 2023-2027, the two ministerial positions allocated to Delta State has two persons of Urhobo extraction. Itsekiri has again sadly lost. Now the Urhobo ethnic group has the governorship position, including the two ministerial slots and the APC Chairmanship for Delta State. In all, at the levels of political and economic structures, the Itsekiri are at the receiving end of the stick. This is very painful. 

This is why the Nigeria Human Rights Community, NIHRCO hereby appeal to President Bola Tinubu to come to our aid and speak for the Itsekiris at the level of the presidency.

“We plead with all righteous voices to look at us with pity and deploy all possible political machineries to assist the Itsekiris particularly to be appointed into such parastatals that can be deployed for the development of Itsekiri ancestral and by extension Ilaje land inclusive since both (Itsekiri and Ilaje) occupy the same geographical and ecological arrears. We trust that President Bola Tinubu has listening ears. We thank him for being steadfast all these years. We recall that President Tinubu was responsible for the memorable recognition of Pa Alfred Rewane’s role in the democratic transformation of Nigeria in which he paid the supreme price of death.”

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