Itsekiri, Ijaw Feud over Ownership of Maritime University Land Deepens

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The land tussle between Ijaws and Itsekiri over the site of Maritime University in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State deepened with Omadino community insisting that the land was in Okerenghigo and not Okerenkoko as claimed by the Ijaws.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the people of Omadino, an Itsekiri community, they lauded the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami over his memorandum to the National Assembly dated October 17, 2017 advising the legislators to comply with a Supreme Court judgment that recognized the site of the university as Okerenghigo.

The statement signed on behalf of the community by Prince Metsese Diden and Quincy Onuwaje, President and Public Relations Officer of Omadino Employment and Development Association (OEDA), the community reminded the National Assembly that it is part of the corporate existence of Nigeria which must be protected by law.

“The Omadino community lauds the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami over his memo to the National Assembly dated 17th October 2017” wherein he exercised what they described as an exceptional courage to identify and speak the truth at a time when many high officials of the Federal Government would rather play to the gallery and mix politics with issues of justice in such a way as to ridicule the entire edifice of government in a supposedly civilized society”.

“Omadino Employment and Development Association (OEDA), which is the Youth Wing of Omadino Community, thereby admonish the National Assembly not to forget that it is a part of the corporate existence of the Nigerian people, with statutory responsibility which extends beyond merely crafting the laws of our land, to applying same in all circumstances, as such, should not be seen to turn democracy on its head in an attempt to jettison the valid judgments of the Supreme Court of our land as regards the ownership and nomenclature of the location of the proposed Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenghigo, we are emphasizing that there is no place in Nigeria called Okerenkoko”.

“To do otherwise is to strip the entire architecture of the judiciary bare naked in the public, and this will not only inflict grave injury in the psyche of the common Nigerian whose last hope has always been the Judiciary, but also rubbish the wigs of the entire legal icons of our great country”, they added.

OEDA noted that at a time when the nation is grappling with criminality ranging from killer herdsmen activities to communal crises, all due to land grabbing syndrome, the National Assembly, especially the Nigerian Senate, has a duty to stick to the law and apply same, in order not to give the impression that the Nigerian State is one of double standards, a lawless society where might is equated for right and where politics supersedes issues of justice.

It stressed “the beauty of any democracy is her judicial system, and the National Assembly, particularly the Nigerian Senate must contribute her own quota to beautifying Nigeria’s nascent Democracy and ensure that it does not proceed in error on this matter as did the House of Assembly recently”.

“The Itsekiri people of Omadino re-emphasized that the entire space called Okerenghigho is an integral part of, and an extension of Omadino community, as traditionally and legally established, and that we are ready to use the last saliva in our throat to re-echo it, the last sweat in our pores and the last strength in our muscles to defend it”.
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