National News

IYC Writes Saraki Over Renaming Of Maritime University

…warns against Malami’s unholy alliance with Itsekiris

In furtherance of its determination to fight against what it perceives as an injustice being meted to the Ijaws in the recent attempt to rename the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, the Ijaw Youths Council has written a letter to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

In the letter signed by its President, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, in retrospection, apprise the Senate President, on the events leading to the current imbroglio over the school’s name.

The IYC boss, expressed disappointment in the handling of the matter by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and warned that all the efforts will fail.

He further described Malami’s activities as unbecoming of a law officer, who is supposed to be abreast with the ambits of the law and the implication of certain legal practices.

The letter warned on the dire consequences which will attend Malami’s instructions to the National Assembly and also reminded the Senate President on the functions and responsibilities of the members of the hallowed chambers.

The letter reads; “We are constrained with no redemption to write you this letter in quick response to the letter allegedly written by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice (AGF)’s Office and signed by one H. A. Tahir in the Office to the Clerk of the National Assembly, directing it not to change the Nigerian Maritime University’s name from Okerenghigho to Okerenkoko.

“The said letter which was contained in a Memo raised by the AGF’s Office to the National Assembly dated the 17th of October, 2017 and published in the Vanguard Newspaper of 5th January, 2018 edition at page 12 is to say the least, a provocation taken too far.

“The AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN will not achieve anything positive from his biased romance with the Itsekiri ethnic group in Delta State in writing that vexatious letter other than to instigate a regrettable ethnic crisis which will hitherto affect our recovering economy.

“It is in this light that the IYC, chose to draw your attention to the looming danger stirred by Abubakar Malami’s provocative letter.

“We are surprised or rather disappointed that the AGF as the Chief Law Officer of the Country can easily breached the sacred doctrine of fair hearing by hastily acting on an illicit, baseless and mischievous presentation of a sensitive national issue by one ethnic group which has grievously affected others without hearing from all the affected.

“This is an indictment of his competence to preside over a sensitive and hallowed ministry of his. The AGF did not only breached the fundamentals of the basic legal norms which formed the pillars in the legal profession, he has also shown to the world that the office he is occupying is far more than his myopic reasoning and same required a sound legal mind which is unsuitable to Abubakar Malami, SAN.

“There is no doubt that the legislature, executive and the judiciary have the sacred duties to make, interpret and enforce the laws of the land for public good, public safety and public morality and or for the good and orderliness of the society.

“Does the AGF’s Memo fell on any of the above? The answer is capital NO. This alone, speaks volume to the fact that the Memo sent from the AGF’s office to the National Assembly should not be treated by the later; rather it should be consigned in the dustbin for public good, public safety and public morality.

“On the subject matter in discourse which is the name of the Maritime University, our position is that: Okerenkoko has been the name given to that Community in the Gbaramatu Kingdom by their progenitor.

“Since the very first time the Portuguese explorers visited the Escravos River down to the time of the slave trade and unto the Oil Palm trade leading to the colonisation of Nigeria, the ancient Okerenkoko Community remains Okerenkoko in the Gbaramatu Kingdom.

“No record in any public and private domain in Nigeria and across the globe including the ones available in the AGF’s office has indicated that Okerenkoko name was changed to Okerenghigho. There is no place called Okerenghigho in the entire Gbaramatu Kingdom and by extension the entire Ijaw nation.

“As the number one Ijaw youths body worldwide and a custodian of our socio-cultural heritage, we can safely say that there is no place ever called Okerenghigho across the length and breadth of Ijaw land in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Maritime University is sited at Okerenkoko and not Okerenghigho. The supreme judgment between James Uluba ORS vs Chief E. E. Silo & ORS purportedly relied by the AGF to take such rash action is even subject of relitigation at the Supreme Court. It was even the Gbaramatu people that won the case at the Court of Appeal, Benin Judicial Division in 2015.

“There is no substantive judgment divesting title from Okerenkoko people or the entire Gbaramatu Kingdom to any other ethnic group. We make bold to say that the Supreme Court judgment relied upon by the AGF is a product of shallow reasoning by a supposed custodian of the laws to issues of concern. Therefore the National Assembly should not stoop so low to act on the gross ineptitude of Malami’s Ministerial rascality.”

Continuing, the letter which was copied to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, Senator. James Ebiwou manager, the Senator, Representing Delta South Senatorial District and Hon Julius Gbabozor Pondi, the Member, Representing Burutu Federal Constituency, likens what it calls the latest Itsekiri’s attempt to mislead the Minister of Justice, to that of similar event that happened during the rule of the late Military Junta, General Sanni Abacha that led to the loss of so many lives in the Niger Delta.

While pleading with the Senate President, to prevent a recurrence of such incident in the Niger Delta area, it reminded him, that as a major actor in the process that leads to the restoration of peace in the region, he should ensure that this latest attempt at disrupting the peace in the area is resisted.

“Sir, we wish to take you down memory lane of events in the past which have given us a bleak history. The Itsekiri nation which surreptitiously prevailed and misled the AGF into writing such irresponsible letter also prevailed on Gen. Oseni, Gen. Sani Abacha’s Chief of Staff to relocate the Headquarters of the Warri South West Local Government Council from Ogbe-Ijoh to Ogidigben in 1996.

“The result of their action was a bloody ethnic conflagration which has sent an uncountable number of persons to an early grave. The intractable crisis in the Niger Delta is also a product of the Warri crisis. Today, the same ethnic group has initiated another criminal move to ferment strife in the region.

“We appeal therefore that the National Assembly under your able leadership should resist the Itsekiris and their evil collaborator, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN from achieving their aims as such will only spell doom for the region and the Nigerian economy.

“We need not to remind you that you are part of the peace process in the region and of course you know the pain in restoring normalcy to the Niger Delta. We do not expect any sane mind in the government to topple the peace we are enjoying in the region. Such will be catastrophic not only to the Niger Deltans but also to the entire country.

“The Ijaw nation will not cede any of her territories to either the Itsekiri land grabbers or any other ethnic group in Nigeria.

“A stitch in time saves nine” the letter warned.


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