Against the backdro of the recent visit of the Delta Lobby Group to the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof Benjamin Okaba as part of consultations towards the Delta State governorship aspirations for 2023, and attacks on the INC President, the Bomadi Mandate Group (BMG) has urged the Ijaw Political Movement (IPM) to desist from attacks as Prof Okaba has not endorsed any aspirant or group.
A statement in this regard signed by Hon. Dagidi Andayi, Coordinator, Bomadi Mandate Group and Famous Ofurobiri, Publicity Secretary, said, “As President of INC, he (Prof Okaba) is the leader of the Ijaw nation. His doors are open as a father to groups and individuals seeking for political position to consult with him. The INC president never endorsed an individual or group for Delta 2023 governorship position. Therefore it is unsavory to attack the INC President in such a manner that portrays him as anti-Ijaw”.
“While we note strongly that it is bad enough to cast aspersions on the INC President who is acting to maintain the cordial relationship with our historical neighbours, the Urhobos, devoid of politics by virtue of his position, we take exception to unpatriotic and unguarded attacks on Prof. Okaba.
“The leadership of Bomadi Mandate Group therefore considers statements credited to the Ijaw Political Movement, IPM as misplaced and grossly irrational when they asserted that Prof. Okaba unilaterally declared support for anyone with the traits of ‘a former governor of the state’.
“Why did they not remember Okaba’s concluding statement, “that the developmental neglect suffered by Ijaw over the years can best be corrected by an Ijaw governor” but were so quick in putting him in bad light against Ijaw people.
“They deliberately refused to tell the world that Prof Okaba told the DC 23 team to expect a similar visit by the Ijaw nation, pointing out that our (Ijaw) sons are also interested in the governorship”.
“On the issue of rotation, Chief Bare Etolor, chairman Delta Izon Okosutu only posited that rotation based on senatorial district would be more convenient and more easily achievable by any ethnic group rather than on purely ethnic or tribal lines. He further pointed out that if it is on the basis of ethnic lines, some people will not live to see three governors because there are many ethnic groups within every senatorial district.
“The misrepresentation of facts by the group is an attempt to spread falsehood in order to mislead the public and deflect the real issues on zoning in the state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, some political racketeering stalwarts and opportunists of the Ijaw extraction who are content with the second fiddle position of the Ijaws in the Delta state politics since 1999 are again on the move to manipulate and negotiate at the detriment of the Ijaws for their selfish interest.
“While the BMG is in support of an Ijaw agenda, however, we will not allow ambitious and self-seeking politicians who have egoistic craving for power to cause disunity within the Ijaws and their neighbours that have a long standing historical affinity.
“Even though the so called group is unaware that a meeting was held in Warri, a gathering of Ijaws sons and daughters about 3 months ago to streamline, consolidate and project an Ijaw agenda for Delta 2023 governorship position, their sponsors who are only good at negotiating with the destinies of the Ijaw people for their inordinate political ambition, are yet to take proactive political moves while other ethnic nationalities are consulting widely. They are known for making hysterical satire and anemic statements.
“The Bomadi Mandate Group under the leadership of Hon. Andayi Dagidi (facilitators of the meeting) believes that Ijaw people’s quest of producing the next governor of the Delta State cannot be actualized without the synergic collaborations with people from other ethnic groups or senatorial districts.
“No ethnic group or senatorial district can produce any governor alone (without the support of the rest of the senatorial districts), hence the consultative visit to enable the two nations rub minds and chat the best of ways forward.
“We also believe that the Ijaw agenda should not be reduced to the whim and caprice of some very unpatriotic, insincere, un-serious and unprepared elements flaunting themselves through cheap social media publicity and using the Ijaw name as a negotiating instrument.
“Rather Ijaw agenda should be seen as a cohesive clamour of Ijaws taking the bull by the horn by uniting and reconciling all shades of opinions, putting up a united front to negotiate for the governorship of Delta State in 2023 by reaching out to other ethnic groups within our senatorial district and the rest, which make up the state to concede the governorship to us (Ijaw people).
“This can only be done through lobbying and persuading other ethnic groups and senatorial districts to support our cause, and not by divergent and dissenting pool of opinions to distract the Ijaw people from making concerted efforts towards actualizing a governor of Ijaw extraction in 2023.
“Finally, we call on all well-meaning Ijaw sons and daughters to be mindful of politicians whose stock in trade is to create bad blood and disaffection in the polity to perpetuate themselves in the corridors of power.”
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