Group slams Wike’s anti-Ijaw comments

Group slams Wike’s anti-Ijaw comments

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The Ijaw Youth Council has condemned the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s attack on the Ijaw ethnic nationality following his controversial directive for the arrest and arraignment of the member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Farah Dagogo.

The council in a statement issued on Tuesday by its spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, described Wike’s outburst as insulting and totally unacceptable to the Ijaw nation.

The Rivers governor had during a thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt for the state’s legal victory over Imo State concerning 17 oil wells declared “thunder fire you, Ijaw National Congress and the Ijaw Youth Council” for demanding the unconditional release of Dagogo.

The IYC, in the statement, titled, ‘Dagogo: Ijaw youths condemn Wike’s outburst’, said that the governor’s comments were not only disturbing and inciting but also a denigration of the exalted office of governor that he occupies.

It pointed out that “such tactless and disrespectful comments by Governor Wike was the height of his prolonged disdain for the Ijaw nation as a whole and Rivers Ijaw people in particular since he became the governor of the state.

“It is even more shocking that the Rivers governor took his unrestrained verbiage to the hallowed pulpit of a church and desecrated the altar of God.”

The apex Ijaw youth body expressed surprise that a call for the release of Dagogo could be a ‘sin’ in the eyes of Wike to warrant his attack on the Ijaw nation in the manner he did it.

It reminded Wike that power is transient and that by May 29, 2023, he will vacate the exalted governorship seat “that he has equally ridiculed, to become an ordinary citizen like others in Rivers State and Nigeria.”

The IYC further said, “Despite being the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria and the largest in the Niger Delta, the Ijaws have consistently promoted peaceful and harmonious relationships with other ethnic groups, including Wike’s Ikwerre nationality in Rivers State.

“However, Wike should be reminded that such unguarded and incendiary comments are capable of rupturing the existing good relationship with the Ikwerres, and his kinsmen are advised to call him to order. Wike has forgotten that by calling fire and thunder on the Ijaw nation, his benefactor and our revered leader, former President Goodluck Jonathan, is an illustrious Ijaw son.

“This “thunder” did not fire the former president when, despite all odds, he made him (Wike) the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State against the wishes of other competent Ijaw aspirants in the state.

“Now, Jonathan as an Ijaw man, is also under fire from Governor Wike. For him, all those that made him, including the people of Rivers State, are in his pocket and can be insulted at will.”

The council advised Ijaw people to see Governor Wike as an enemy of the Ijaw nation and they should speak up against his tyrannical behaviour.

It cautioned that if Wike, as a sitting governor, could cast aspersions on an entire ethnic nationality, he might do worse things if he becomes the President of Nigeria in 2023.

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