by Toju Apoh
The people once describe as non educated, timid and bush dwellers over ages has change in recent times, the Ijaw nation with the hunger for change through her leadership, pursued development by all means possible, a thing that have eventually polish their history and change the general outlook of Ijaw people. a wakeup call that brought all Ijaws together irrespective of state and local government area, political parties that have seen them taking new places and also expanding territories. Aside the fact they try to steal Itsekiri lands they are admired for the sense of nationhood they took along in their struggle.
Taking advantage of multinational companies in their area, making judicious use of community and government funds for development, forcing scholarships, pushing modern education for a whole new generation and sametime preserving their own indigenous language and cultures indeed there is a future for Ijaw.
A character in their approach to Niger Delta struggle, that they have not had enough. they needed more and agree in their sense of development, that even if an Ijaw republic is far from reach but no stopping. The entire Ijaw nation cuting across 5 states wanted a Maritime university in the will it will bring a new city in the new country they seek. If the maritime university kick off, in 20years a new city will be born at Okerenghigho after an expressway may have been approve, creating an Ijaw control city at the heart of Warri kingdom :see photo
Okerenghigho have a deep water water potential, it will be the first city of it kind for Ijaw nation. it will steal the away the value of the Warri port, take away all the merchandise and economic privileges of the city of Warri when private ports and new businesses are build complimenting the National Maritime University.
My overrall concern is how this sense development will affect the Itsekiri nation. We can agree that as much as Ijaws need new grounds for development, Itsekiri ethnic nationality need it as well. Itsekiri must take charge from such inspiration and build her own, there must be a future for Itsekiri, we must start find ways to make use of available funds for development. The book titled THE ODYSSEY OF WASTE was an eye openner. we could have judiciously use wasted fund and appriopriate rightly for projects that greatly support the survival of Itsekiri.
A road to Ugborodo that may link to Okereghigho is the only thing that will make the merchandise of Itsekiri not stolen by Ijaw prowess for development. If a road get to Ugborodo it will be the new Warri city taking everything along the escravos river. Everything that should leave Warri to Okerenghigho will go to Ugborodo that is controlled by Itsekiri and seaports, naval ports and other business springs, the surrounding villages up to Deghele will open and our people will return back to their villages.
May God bless all those who sincerely have the good of Itsekiri at heart.