By Akpos Oghenetega,
The people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have called on the State Governor, Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on the Federal Government for the urgent take off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbararmatu Kingdom.
They reaffirmed their support for the people of Gbararmatu Kingdom, describing them as peace loving and implored the Governor to mount pressure on the Federal Government on the take off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
In an open letter to Governor Okowa, signed by Pa Douglas Omagbemi (Ugborodo Community), Pa Pasco Oritsegbami (Elder, Ugborodo community) and Hon Thomas Metseagharun (The Toritsemogha of Ugborodo Community), the Ugborodo people made it clear once again that they are not part of Warri Kingdom.
Their letter was entitled; “Prevail On The Federal Government For The Take-off Of Nigerian Maritime University Okerenkoko. We Stand With The Peace Loving People Of Gbararmatu Kingdom”.
They wrote that;”Your Excellency, we the peace loving people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State are pleased with the total peace that your administration has restored to all parts of the State and we want to give you a pat on the back for this”.
They added that;”But we are deeply worried that the prevailing peace may be scuttled as a result of the activities of some individuals who are against the establishment of the much needed Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbararmatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, hence we are writing you this open letter. As a proactive Governor, we know what you have done so far to encourage the smooth take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, but we want you to do more in order for the peace being enjoyed in all parts of the State to be sustained”.
“Your Excellency, we want you to educate the Federal Government more on 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 its location in Okerenkoko. We the people of Ugborodo Community want to go to School and therefore, we need the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko and we want to appeal to our dynamic Governor to prevail on the Federal Government to let the University get off the ground now”, they stated.
They stated further;”The University will bring rapid development to the entire Niger Delta Region. Those frustrating the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbararmatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area are enemies of progress and they would be happy if they set the State on fire just to make sure that the University never saw the light of day. But they must not be allowed to have their way”.
“The people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State are not part of Warri Kingdom. We are autonomous Kingdom and we are close to Gbararmatu kingdom, where the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko is located and not near to the Olu of Warri and his Kingdom in Warri South Local Government”.
They made it clear; “That we the people of Ugborodo Community will not be pushed to have problems with the people of Gbararmatu Kingdom because they are peace loving people hence we are supporting the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Gbararmatu Kingdom. The Gbararmatu people are the only people that we have common boundary with and we have been living together peacefully as neighbours all these years. We are not going to allow ourselves to be used against our peace loving neighbours in Gbararmatu Kingdom, no matter the instigation from enemies of progress”.
“Let it be noted that Itsekiris in Warri South Local Government do not have boundary with the GB people in Warri South West Local Government Area. We share boundary with the Ijaws of Gbararmatu Kingdom. The boundary for Warri South West Local Government Area is only for the Ijaws and Ugborodo people and no other people. Those claims of the Itsekiris on the ownership of the land are fake. We stand with our peace loving people of Gbararmatu Kingdom”, they wrote.
According to them also;”We want to vividly recall the letter written April 8, 2001 by the late J.O.S. Ayomike on behalf of Ugborodo Leaders to the administration of former Governor James Onanefe Ibori (Your Excellency, you served in that administration) where he accused the late Warri monarch, Ogiame Atuwatse 11, of his unlawful ambush of Ugborodo peoples #12 Million, amongst others”.
Their letter further read;”He had told the late monarch in the letter that; ” It is ironic that you, who would not have a Trust for central Itsekiri affairs, could descend so low to seek to side-line the legal Ugborodo Trust in order to set up your fake one through your surrogate for selfish reasons. You have thrown several stones at us in Ugborodo-Escravos, and to halt the damage so far, we will haul our missiles. You will please note other offensive acts of yours in Ugborodo affairs that have destabilized the Community so far”.
“The situation has not changed even with the new Warri monarch. Enough is enough of the interference in our community’s affairs as we are autonomous. We are in total support of the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko and we plead with the Governor to mount pressure on the Federal Government to expedite action on the take off of the University.
Your Excellency, we want you to halt the impending fresh crisis in the Warri area being instigating by the very well known enemies of progress as a result of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbararmatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area by imploring the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion of allowing the University to commence academic activities without further delay. We say no to under development of the area and enough is enough to those always beating drums of war. We need development in our area and not war”, they posited.