NASS 2019: Ijaw, Itsekiri youths at cross roads over James Manager as Ijaw elders back Mutu for 5th term

Ijaw Elders and youths from the Bomadi, Patani and clans from the Western Zone under the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)  has weekend thrown their weight behind the ambition of the member representing Bomadi/Patani federal constituency, Nicholas Mutu and the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial district, James Manager for the 5th and 6th terms respectively.

While the Delta Elders from Bomadi /Patani Federal constituency under the Bomadi/ Patani Friends for Progress ( BPFP) said Nicholas Mutu remains the best candidate among the list of aspirants to represent the people of Bomadi/ Patani in view of his credible and laudable performance and numerous projects he has attracted to the constituency.

The Ijaw Youths Council (Western Zone) through the Chairman Comrade Frank Akiefa, and his Secretary, Comrade Ebi Wonzu, said in a statement reacting to the Itsekiri group to claim of rotation of elective positions, that contrary to the Itsekiri group claims, there is no existing power rotation/zoning formula or principle anywhere in Delta South.

The Bomadi/Patani Elders under the aegis of the Delta Elders from Bomadi /Patani Federal constituency under the  Bomadi/ Patani Friends for Progress ( BPFP) in a statement made available to newsmen in Yenagoa,  said that Hon. Mutu’s proven track record and his position as a ranking member of the House is a plus that can be leveraged to deliver on the much needed dividends of democracy to the people.

The president of the group, Prince Perez Ogbobo spoke to journalists during a mega rally of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state.

According to Prince Ogbobo, majority of the electorates in Bomadi/Patani feel satisfied with the performance of Hon. Mutu, adding that the people are not against a change in their representative but that only the disgruntled and desperate politicians are making the mountain out of a mull hill in the matter.

He noted that those sponsoring campaign of calumny against the serving House of Reps member are only doing so out of their selfish interest with the intention to mislead and deceive the public to accept their lies that PDP will loose the seat to the opposition if Hon. Mutu is fielded as the party’s candidate.

The president of the group argued that Hon. Mutu remains the best chance of the PDP retaining the federal seat, stressing that he contested against formidable opposition members five times and defeated them roundly and squarely.

Ogbobo maintained that contrary to  the false and baseless claims that Mutu’s sixth term bid will undermine the development of the constituency, he pointed out that his going back to the National Assembly will further enhance the fortunes of the constituency in term of attracting life-changing projects as he will bring his experience, influence and capacity to bear in speaking for the people.

He appealed to the aggrieved  brothers and sisters to exercise restraint about the way and manner they are carrying out the campaign of Calumny against the sixth term bid of Hon. Nicholas Mutu as the Nigerian constitution does not stipulate a term limit for the legislature as such, Hon. Mutu has every right to go for a record sixth tenure.

“The majority of the members of our great  party, the PDP in Bomadi/ Patani as well as the majority of the voting populace, still believe in and support the candidature of Rt. Hon. Mutu. This is what will play out in the forthcoming party primary and the subsequent general elections.” He declared

On the ambition of Senator James Manager, the IYC insisted that he is the most qualified despite protest from the Itsekiri groups over the existence of a rotation plan in the senatorial district.

According to the Ijaw Youths Council, though they are not against rotation/sharing of political offices, it must apply to all offices within an area such as local government and federal constituency with multi-ethnic composition.

IYC spoke in reactions to claims by President of the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC), Comrade Agbateyiniro Weyinmi that Senator James Manager’s fifth term ambition was a threat to the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), power rotation/zoning principle in Delta South Senatorial District.

A statement by chairman of IYC Western zone, Comrade Frank Akiefa, and his Secretary, Snr. Comrade Ebi Wonzu, said contrary to the Itsekiri group claims, there is no existing power rotation/zoning formula or principle anywhere in Delta South.

According to IYC, at all material times and elections from 2003 till date, aspirants and candidates from the other ethnic groups of Delta South Senatorial district, namely Itsekiri and Isoko have always contested with Senator Manager of the Ijaw and Isoko extraction.

The group insisted that in 2003 during the PDP primaries, Senator Manager contested against Chief Adolor Okotie-Eboh (Itsekiri) and Senator Stella Omu (Isoko).

In the main election in 2003, Senator Manager contested against Mr. Okorodudu of the then Alliance for Democracy (Itsekiri) and defeated him. In short, Chief Adolo Okotie-Eboh took Senator Manager to court and the case went up to the supreme court where Sen. Manager won.

“Similar contest happened in 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections both at the primaries and main elections.From 2003 to 2015 elections, a total of 22 Itsekiris have contested both primaries and main elections with Senator Manager even when Dr. Uduaghan, an Itsekiri was Governor of Delta State.”

“It is significant to note that even before the start of the present democratic experience, in 1979 and 1983, the contest for the Delta South Senatorial seat experienced similar pattern as candidates from all the different ethnic groups contested and a winner emerged.”

IYC however challenged the INYC to produce the evidence of the agreement and those who entered into the agreement on behalf of the Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri and Urhobo people, ” it is hypocrisy to queries the fifth term ambition of Senator Manager, but see it right for an Itsekiri who is seeking a sixth term in the Warri Federal Constituency seat from 1999 till date.

IYC maintained that the Itsekiris have monopolized all the elective and appointive officers in the three Warri Local Government Areas since 1954 till date to the detriment of the Ijaws and Urhobos of Warri.”

“For example, no Ijaw or Urhobo person has represented the Warri Federal Constituency from 1954 till date. Also  since the creation of Warri North LGA which is made up of Ijaws and Itsekiri in 1991, Ijaws have not produced the Chairman and member of the State House of Assembly till date.”

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