Delta State

Don’t leave Itsekiri out of your govt, Ariyo warns Oborevwori

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

A legal practitioner and human rights activist, Chief Robinson Ariyo, has warned the newly-crowned sheriff of Delta State, RT. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to be careful not to leave out a very critical ethnic nationality, the Itsekiri, that contributes a chunk of the oil resources of Delta State and Nigeria.

The public affairs analyst urged the governor to consciously eschew the predominance of persons from a few ethnic or sectional groups in the composition of his government.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday in his country-home in Ubeji, Warri South Local Government Area of the state, Chief Ariyo posited that the new governor must see to the promotion of inclusiveness in line with the constitution and the law of the land.

“It is the intention of the founding fathers of Nigeria that every government should promote national unity and the feeling of inclusion.

“Permit me to commend Section 14 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended which provides; ‘The composition of the Government of a State…or any of the agencies of such Government …, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government …or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation,” the Egogo (mouthpiece) of Warri Kingdom posited.

He further averred that the state governor, having taken the oath to discharge his duties to the best of his ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it would be too early in the day to begin manifesting traits that appear to reflect the contrary.

Chief Ariyo further observed: “I am particularly disturbed that the allegory “Ukodo” which the governor assured Delta would be equitably shared appears to have left out a very critical ethnic nationality that contributes a chunk of the oil resources of Delta State and indeed the country.

“Several sensitive appointments have so far been made and while some ethnic groups already have two or more, the Itsekiris do not have any,” he affirmed.

The Warri-based lawyer and peace-building expert cum development consultant, therefore, urged all well-meaning Itsekiri leaders to close ranks and think beyond their personal interests in favour of their collective interest.

“In every society, there is usually a tension between the individualistic and communal interest but prosperity never forgets those who perpetually sacrifice communal interest for their personal interest.

“I have observed many influential Itsekiris constantly sacrificing the communal for their personal interests and seek to give the impression that they are patriots; there is nothing that can be more deceitful.

“We must begin to think more of what we can do for the community than what we can do for ourselves”; he admonished.

According to him; “we cannot go to church every Sunday and sit on front row while the cardinal doctrine of Christianity; ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ does not resonate in us.

“We must begin to give effect to what we preach and claim to stand for. The level of hypocrisy in our land is unprecedented.

“Let us remember the last words of late Dele Giwa; ‘No evil deed will go unpunished; any evil done by man to man will be redressed; if not now then certainly later; if not by man, then by God for the victory of evil over good is temporary.”

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