A Letter to President Jonathan on Ijaw by Urhobo Youths

URHOBO YOUTH COUNCIL
 Open Letter To The President Of Federal Republic Of Nigeria On Gross Marginalization Of The Urhobo By Your Administration And Undue Appropriation Of All Empowerment By The Ijaws
By Urhobo Youth Council (UYC)

We are constrained to write this open letter to bring to your notice and necessary action the gross marginalization of the Urhobo people and the appropriation of all appointments, projects and empowerment by the Ijaw nationality to the detriment of their neighbors and other ethnic nationalities in South-South geopolitical zone, as your kith and kin from the South geopolitical zone.

We are not unmindful of the serious security challenges buffering your administration including the Boko Haram insurgence and the spate of kidnapping and crime that are defying the road map of “The Transformational Agenda”. As your kins men, we empathize with you in the struggle to steady the ship of the state. Indeed, we have borne our pains in silence electing to convey our distress through peaceful and dialogue as opposed to violence in order not to heat the polity. It thus seems to us that our recourse to the path of peace is now being taken to be weakness on the part of the Urhobo people.  

The Urhobos occupies Delta Central Senatorial district and also from majority population in Warri South and Patani Local Government areas in Delta State. For good measures, The Urhobo in Delta Central has total registered votes of well over 920,000 out of these figures; over 860,000 votes were delivered to you during the Presidential election. A figure that far outstrip your home state of Bayelsa with less than 500, 000 voters and several other state including but not limited to Taraba State. It is thus amazing that your home state of Bayelsa with such a number of votes in addition to your high office as president and commander in chief also produced some of the following: Minister of Petroleum. 2. Chairman of NDDC etc. to give vent to the rumored ijaw agenda at the expenses of other nationalities, your administration went further to patronize the Ijaws of Delta State who are less than 12% of the state population. Your administration brazenly took the ministerial slots zoned to the Urhobos by Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua and handed it to the minority Ijaw kinsmen. Elder Godsday Orubebe. The Executive Director of Finance and Administration is also headed by another Ijaw who share same ancestral root with the minister for Niger Delta.

While other nationalities are groaning under the weight of this lopsided empowerment, The DG of National Maritime and Safety Administration (NIMASA) occupied by an Itsekiri folk was removed and pronto another Ijaw man was appointed with dispatch.

Mr. President is aware that the Urhobos and other nationalities who subscribed to the Amnesty Programme were excluded from the programme, while the few that are enlisted are shut out from the training programme. It will not serve any purpose if we point out the Multi Billion Naira Presidential Amnesty Programme headed by another Ijaw folk from a fringe riverine community in Ondo state. The Amnesty programme is now exclusive preserve of the Ijaws who has appropriated Niger Delta as their Anglophones appellation.

The Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, FUPRE approved and sited in Urhobo area is grossly underfunded. The University due to paucity of funds is yet to fully take off.

Despite being about the highest producer of natural gas and host to Utorogu gas plant, the Urhobos were painfully excluded as beneficiaries of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Government and the gas producing community. Furthermore, the Urhobos are also shut out from the contact from Oil Pipeline Surveillance in spite of the fact that majority of the pipeline are in the Urhobo area.

OUR DEMANDS
We demand as we wallow in the wallow in the depth of political low tide which this administration has plunged our people are modest and reasonable which are:

1. Appointment of a qualified Ministerial from Urhobo (A slot that was zoned to the Urhobo)

2. Inclusion of the Urhobos who subscribed to the Amnesty programmes in the training of ex militants and partaking in the benefit thereon.

3. Adequate funding of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, FUPRE to enable the institution takes off properly.

4. Appointment without delay of qualified Urhobo son or daughter into key and strategic offices, which include but not limited to; NDDC, NNPC, NPA, NIMASA, ETF, PTDF etc. to enable our people have a sense of belonging to justify their huge support to your presidency.

We implore you to address our grievance and grant our modest demands in the spirit of the transformational agenda.

 Signed
 
Hon Henry Minabowanre Baro        |              Olorogun Jaro Egbo        |              Mr. Hope Emore
National President                                    Deputy National President               National Secretary  

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