9 February 2013

Nigeria: Urhobos Appeal to Jonathan Over Alleged Marginalisation in Warri

President Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon to intervene and mitigate the plight of Urhobo people, the largest ethnic group in Delta State to correct alleged unfavourable treatment in the political affairs particularly in Warri South Local Government Area the interest of peace.

Specifically, a group of Urhobos who are also members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) blamed the alleged discrimination in the party and administration of the strategic local government are on the Itsekiri political class who they claimed have controlled almost all the available positions in locality.

Speaking in Warri "For and on behalf of the Urhobos in Warri, Warri South Local Government Area" at "World Press Conference", Olorogun Victor Akpor Okumagba, said that the people were compelled to cry out to the world the state governor has not heeded several appeals for his intervention.

Okumagba however warned that Urhobo people had been pushed to the wall regarding the scheme of things in the locality and were prepared to fight for their rights by all means considered legal.

He therefore appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and all peace-loving Nigerians to prevail on the Delta State Governor "to maintain the peaceful political structure put in place in Warri South" which had ensured that peaceful atmosphere prevailed in the area.

Flanked at the media session by Urhobos political leaders from the 12 electoral and 19 state administrative wards in Warri South who are also members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okumagba explained with statistical figures the depth of the alleged injustice meted out to Urhobos in the once highly volatile locality.

According to him, in more than 13 years from 1999 till date only one of the six Warri South Local Government council chairmen, Chief Obukohwo P. Agiri has been of Urhobo ethnic extraction; and, his "appointment" lasted for only one year from 2006 to 2007.

In the same vein, of the six persons appointed secretary of the council since 1999 all had been Itsekiri, except for one Urhobo that was appointed secretary from 2002 to 2003, Okumagba further alleged.

He claimed that the Itsekiri had also taken sole charge of the position of Warri South PDP Chairman despite that fact that the Urhobos were mainly the foundation members of the party in the area while the Itsekiris "actually begged to join the PDP in order not to be in opposition party in the state."

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