ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has carpeted Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike over his alleged attack on Ijaw ethnic nationality following the controversy over the arrest of a federal lawmaker, Farah Dagogo.
The group described an insulting and totally unacceptable attack, saying that the council viewed his ‘Thunder Fire You’ comment as disturbing, inciting and denigrating of the high office he occupies.
A statement by the spokesman for IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, noted that such “tactless and disrespectful comment” by Wike was the height of his prolonged disdain for the Ijaw nation as a whole and Rivers Ijaw people in particular since he became governor of the state.
The statement said: “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 only ‘sin’ that attracted Wike’s ire was the IYC’s demand alongside its parent organ, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), for the release of an Ijaw son, Hon. Farah Dagogo was arrested and remanded in prison on his orders.
“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 caution him.”
The IYC also reminded the Governor that power is transient and that by May 29, 2023, he would vacate the exalted governorship seat that he had equally ridiculed to become an ordinary citizen like others in Rivers State and Nigeria.
The statement also said: “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 the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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.
“We, therefore, call on our people as a whole to see Governor Wike as an enemy of the Ijaw Nation. We urge Ijaws all over the world to speak against this tyrannical behaviour of Wike.
“We also call on our Ijaw brothers that are delegated in his party not to cast their votes for him during the presidential primaries as this will be viewed as a betrayal of our heritage. Suffice to say that if a governor can cast aspersion on an entire ethnic nationality, what would become of him as president of the most populous black nation on the planet?”