Olu of Warri wants to ignite fresh Ijaw/Itsekiri crisis over Maritime University location, Ugborodo community tells Buhari
By Jon Egie
Elders and leaders of Ugborodo community in Warri South West local government area of Delta State have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the general public to be cautious of the antics of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli 1, to ignite fresh crisis between the Ijaws and Itsekiris over issues related to the Nigerian Maritime University.
An open letter to President Buhari which was signed by Pa Douglas Omagbemi, Pa Pasco Oritsegbami and Hon Thomas Metsagharun (the Toritsemogha of Ugborodo) made available to Spy News Online, stated clearly that the location of the Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko was not in doubt.
“Let no one deceive you, Okerenkoko where the Nigerian Maritime University is located belongs to the people of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West LGA of Delta State. We people of Ugborodo community also in Warri South West LGA are neighbours to Gbaramatu kingdom which is in Warri South West LGA.
“There are many autonomous kingdoms in the area called Warri which has three LGAs to its name. Among these are Gbaramatu kingdom and others too numerous to mention. These kingdoms were supported by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who is an Itsekiri man.
“During the recent presentation of staff of office to the Pere (King) of Gbaramatu, the Olu of Warri sent two of his renowned chiefs to represent him at the coronation ceremony. The Olu accepted Gbaramatu as an autonomous kingdom with its own king, how then do the people of Gbaramatu kingdom become subservient to him? The Olu knows what is going on more than his body language and utterances are making people to believe.
“Mr President, we must not fail to look at the facts on ground. Which villages make up Gbaramatu kingdom as reflected in the Delta State gazette that Governor Uduaghan approved? Was Omadino part of the land that make up Gbaramatu kingdom that the Olu recognized as an autonomous kingdom?”
The letter said the Ugborodo people are also autonomous of the Warri kingdom where the Olu bears rule.
“If you have ceded part of your kingdom you should also allow the people to be independent and stop interfering in their life. The Olu and his numerous chiefs should allow the Ugborodo people to rule themselves without influencing and interfering in their affairs.
“Since the time of Chief Dore Numa vs Dike Olue in the celebrated Edede Land Case at Ajudaibo till date, 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 an autonomous kingdom.”
Presenting historical facts, the letter explained that the word Olaja, meaning king or owner of property, a title born in Ugborodo, is not installed by the Olu of Warri and none are answerable to him in any capacity.
“The Ugborodo culture and traditions are markedly different from that of other Itsekiri communities. All the lands that have been given out in Ugborodo were sealed by the Olaja Orori and Eghare Aja on trust on behalf of Ugborodo people. The Olu has never given out any land belonging to Ugborodo community because he does not have such powers.
Do not be deceived, Ogiame Ikenwoli 1, is about setting the stage for yet another round of crisis using the Nigerian Maritime University location as a fodder. Omadino people must be wise so that they do not fall prey to the traps of selfish people whose hearts are far from Omadino interest. We should embrace peace to speed development of our communities” the letter said.