A Niger Delta activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has said that the approval given to the Nigerian Maritime University by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) was a welcome development, noting that it has been long expected by the people of Delta state and the entire Niger Delta region.
In a telephone chat with Emeraldng.com, Mulade said: “We want to commend the NUC for taking the bold step and as it stands, we want to appeal to the president to assent to the bill because it has been jointly approved by the senate and the House of Representatives.
“So, we want the president to assent to it to enable it pick up immediately by the next academic session. The approval is a welcome development. That is what the whole Delta and Nigeria people have been expecting.”
On the crisis between the Ijaw and the Itsekiri people following the controversial memo written by the Attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, Mulade said actually there is no issue between Itsekiri and Gbaramatu over the ownership of the land where the university is situated.
He said: “Gbaramatu is the original owner of that land. It will interest the public to know that the Omadino people are paternally people from Gbaramatu kingdom. Omadino was a fishing hamlet founded by Oweizibri, a fisherman and hunter. The people of Omadino are aware and they know. Yes, maternally they are from Itsekiri, therefore they cannot claim where does not belong to them.”
Following this, he said: “So, we don’t know where the Itsekiris are fabricating their cruel judgment from. We understand that that has been their character and behaviour, they are land grabbers. So, I want to say that their forefathers misled and misguided them all in the name to get property for their generations.
“Yes, of course their forefathers have gotten that fake judgment for them to parade themselves, but they should realise that they are sons and daughters of Gbaramatu kingdom. They cannot fight their father.”
Mulade, the chief executive officer of Centre for Environmental Justice and Peace (CEPEJ), said the plan of Itsekiri people to block the take off of the university was a wrong calculation as the people of Omadino are people of Gbaramatu kingdom.
He said: “Sometimes, when we look at Itsekiri claims, it is laughable to us. We try to keep mute over these their continuous claims. But to make the receord straight, we always tell them, the people of Omadino always tell us that what those their people are writing, they are not part and parcel of them.
“But to debunk the story from their own end, they refuse, that makes us to believe they are behind the boys. They are indirectly sponsring them. Omadino is part of Gbaramatu so there is no way the people of Gbaramatu will go and attakc them, we will never because they are our children.
“If you decide to fall to your maternal end does not mean you will take Gbaramatu land to join Itsekiri. Omadino belongs to Gbaramatu and that is our position. So, whatever they are saying does not matter, so the itsekiri should realise that Omadino is part of Gbaramatu and not part of Itsekiri kingdom.”