By mike Jones
WARRI/Nigeria: The people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have said that they are satisfied with the current location of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkeko and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to speed up its take off.
They also alleged that the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli was trying to cause another fresh crisis between the Ijaws and Itsekiris in the State.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari signed by Pa Douglas Omagbemi (Ugborodo Community), Pa Pasco Oritsegbami (Elder, Ugborodo community) and Hon Thomas Metseagharun (The Toritsemogha of Ugborodo Community), the community made it clear to President Buhari that the location of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko was not in doubt.
According to the letter; “Mr President, let no one deceive you about the location of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko. The place where the University is located belongs to the people of Gbararmatu kingdom of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta and we the people of Ugborodo Community are in support of the University and it’s location. We the people of Ugborodo Community want to go to School and therefore, we need the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko. The Federal Government should let the University get off the ground now. The University will bring rapid development to the entire Niger Delta Region”.
The community added that they were highly disturbed by recent activities of the Olu of Warri and some disgruntled individuals and groups around him, urging the President to call them to order now to avoid bloodshed in the area.
They also alleged that the constant crises in Ugborodo was always caused by the monarch and his palace through some disgruntled individuals or groups mostly aliens or maternal relations who used the palace to undo the decision of the Ugborodo elders.
In the letter titled; Ugborodo Community Is Not Part Of Warri Kingdom: We Are Not Answerable to the Olu of Warri: You Can Fool The People Sometimes But You Cannot Fool All The People All The Times: Enough Of Killings Of Innocent People. We Are in Total Support of the Location of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, the community, added that Ugborodo is a kingdom of its own.
“Mr President, we want to let you know through this open letter that since the time of Chief Dore Numa vs Chief Dick Olue in a Edede land case at Ajudaibo till today, the Ugborodo people have never accepted that they are under the Olu of Warri. Ugborodo is a Kingdom of its own and we have our own ruler. We are autonomous Kingdom. The unity of all Itsekiris should be paramount with a good structure because the present structure will not bring out any good thing. It will only take us backward. We will only continue cheating ourselves and going round in circles if we continue with this present structure. Mr President, do all that is within you to stop the oppression of the Ugborodo people as we are not part of Warri Kingdom.
“Your Excellency, there are many autonomous kingdoms in the area called Warri, which has three Local Government Areas to its name; Amongst these is the Gbaramatu Kingdom and others too numerous to mention in a write up of this nature. These kingdoms were supported by former Governor Uduaghan of Delta State who is an itsekiri man.
“During the last presentation of staff of office to the king of Gbaramatu Kingdom, the ‘Olu of Warri’ sent two of his renowned Chiefs to represent him at the occasion thereby also supporting the staff of office presented to the Pere of Gbramatu Kingdom. During this ceremony, no Itsekiri man raised an eyebrow including the ‘Olu of Warri’.
“He accepted Gbaramatu Kingdom as an autonomous kingdom with a king. How then do they become subservient to him? This shows the Olu knows what is going on more than his body language and utterances are making us to believe.
“Mr President, in as much as we want the name to reflect Itsekiri name, we must not also fail to look at the facts on ground. Which villages make up Gbararmatu kingdom as reflected in Delta State Gazette which former Governor Uduaghan approved? Is the said Omadino land part of the land that make up the Gbararmatu kingdom? Which the Olu also approved by sending his Chiefs to the coronation of the Gbararmatu king?
“These are facts we need to verify. If you have seceded part of your kingdom, you should also allow the people to do things on their own without interfering. The Olu and his numerous Chiefs should also allow the Ugborodo people to rule themselves without influencing and interfering in their affairs. All these palace meetings with the sole aim to invade Ugborodo when we do not have any strategy yet to handle other threats is laughable. We are only good in fighting ourselves.
“Your Excellency, Mr President, secondly, the word Olaja means king or owner of a property or thing. According to historical facts, the Olaja Orori or the Eghare Aja is not installed by the Olu of Warri and none of them are answerable to him in any capacity.
“The Ugborodo culture and traditions are very different from that of other Itsekiris in burial rites and even where they are buried. All the lands that have been given out in Ugborodo till date is through the Olaja Orori and the Eghare Aja on trust on behalf of Ugborodo people. The Olu has never given out any land belonging to Ugborodo Community because he do not have such powers.
“There are many more kingdoms inside Warri axis and they are all recognized by Government and so what is the big deal if there is kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Council and it Environs after all the same Ogiame Ekenwoli 1, sent some Chiefs from the Warri Palace to represent him when the Delta State Government presented the Gbararmatu monarch with Staff of Office!
“Let not be cowed and our sense of reasoning be allowed to be tempered with because Ogiame Ekenwoli 1, is about setting the stage for yet another round of crisis with the same movement of an Institution. Omadino people must be wise so that you do not fall prey to selfish people who do not your interest at hearts.We should embrace peace because crisis is not helping the development of the Community. Ugborodo is in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, close to Gbararmatu kingdom and not near to where the Olu kingdom is which Warri South Local Government.