The Ijaw Youth Council (Western Zone) met on Sunday September 16, 2018 to consider a wide range of issues affecting Ijaw people in Delta, Edo and Ondo states, one of them was the statement credited to Chief Bare Etolor during the meeting between his group and a delegation of Itsekiris as published in the Vanguard Newspaper of Saturday, September 15, 2018 where Chief Bare Etolor was quoted to have presented the position of the Ijaw people with respect to the Delta South Senatorial seat by proposing a rotation pattern. We have critically reviewed the rotation pattern proposed by Chief Bare Etolor and we resolved to state as follows for clarification purposes THAT:
- Certainly, the Ijaws have lots of clubs and groups, hence one group out of many others cannot issue statement on political issues as Bare Etolor’s group did on the matters that concerns the Delta Senatorial District. The Chief Bare Etolor’ group alone lacks the authority to present the Ijaw position to the Itsekiris ethnic group or any other group on behalf of Delta Ijaws. It is only the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) that can do so.
- Obviously the meeting between the Chief Etolor led group and the Itsekiri delegation was a private visit to Chief Etolor, otherwise the meeting would have taken place under the auspices of the Ijaw umbrella body, the INC as was the case when our Itsekiri brothers visited the Isoko Development Union (IDU) at its headquarters in Oleh, Delta state. The IYC wishes to advise Ijaw individuals who have personal issues with some Ijaw aspirants to go and resolve their issues instead of using groups in the name of Ijaw to promote personal grievances.
- The Ijaws of Delta state did not authorize Chief Bare Etolor to agree to a rotation pattern or make a proposal on the pattern of rotation of the Delta South Senatorial district which he did during the meeting with the Itsekiri delegation.
Any agreement with respect to power sharing in Delta South or any other political unit must include all critical stakeholders including traditional rulers, political and opinion leaders, community leaders, youths and women groups.
- Chief Bare Etolor in his presentation at the meeting proposed that if a candidate of Ijaw extraction wins the Delta South Senatorial elections in 2019, then the person would stay for only one term and hand over to the Itsekiris to spend two terms to handover to the Isokos for another two terms.
- However, most critically, Chief Bare Etolor failed to neither extract any commitment from the Itsekiri delegation in relation to the 64 years domination of the Warri federal constituency on when the Ijaws and Urhobos would take over the representation of the Warri federal constituency seat nor make a proposal on when the rotation would take effect in the State Houses of Assembly Seats and chairmanship in the three Warri local government areas of Delta state. The foregoing clearly shows that Chief Bare Etolor did not speak for Delta Ijaw people but for himself and perhaps the few persons who he selected to attend the meeting with him.
- We stand by our earlier position how best to achieve power rotation in Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West Local Government Areas, the Warri Federal Constituency and Delta South Senatorial District which is that rotation must be holistic to include all political offices in the three Warri LGAs, the Warri federal constituency and the Delta South senatorial seat.
- The IYC western zone would no longer respond to any other Ijaw group or persons as they have a right to express their personal opinion.
Signed for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Western Zone:
Comrade Frank Akiefa
Snr. Comrade Ebi Wonzu