Re: The Urhobo Nation Has The Backing Of Governor Sheriff Oborewori To Attack Itsekiri

Gov Sheriff Oborovweri with Ogiame Atuwatse III

Today, we, the coalition of Itsekiri youth groups, want to address a matter of utmost importance that has recently come to light. The issue at hand revolves around the wrongful address used on our lands by some troublemakers in Warri. Changing the correct address from “No. 18 Okere Road, Warri” to an illegal address, “No. 18 Otovwodo Okere Agbarha Kingdom”. The local government chairman, understanding the gravity of the situation, promptly took action by removing the unauthorized billboard that displayed the deceitful address.

However, it has come to our attention that certain statements made by the Urhobo Youth Leader during a press conference in Ughelli insinuated that they have the support and backing of our esteemed State Governor.

As Itsekiri we must express our deep concern regarding such statements and the implications they carry.

It is disheartening to witness the recurring pattern of ethnic bullying in Delta State, particularly when individuals from the Urhobo ethnicity assume positions of power. It is crucial to remember that Governor Sheriff Francis Orohwedor Oborevwori is not solely a representative of the Urhobo people, but rather a Governor for all the diverse ethnicities that comprise Delta State. Just as Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, who hailed from the Itsekiri ethnic group, was not solely a Governor for Itsekiri people’s, but a representative for all Delta State residents. Similarly, the immediate past Governor, Senator Ifeanyichukwu Arthur Okowa CON, was not exclusively a Governor for the Anioma people, but rather a leader for all Deltans.

Therefore, I implore Governor Sheriff not to allow ethnic bigotry to mar his governance and tarnish his legacy.

The Itsekiri people will not remain silent if subjected to further bullying. We will take necessary action to defend our lands and protect our rights, including resorting to the full force of the law if required, in order to convey a clear message. We will not tolerate any illegitimate naming or address infringement on our lands.

Furthermore, it is imperative to address the issue of the Urhobo Cultural Center owing the Itsekiri Communal Land Trustees who represents the Olu of Warri to hold all lands in trust for the Itsekiri People a significant sum of £660 rent for over 14 years. Despite this, we have not pressed for payment or exerted any undue pressure, as we believed in the spirit of brotherhood that has existed between us. This lease began in 1911 and expired in 2010 after 99 years.

Pursuant to their deliberate misrepresentations of historical facts in Warri Division, the Urhobo and Ijaw settlers in the Division tend to depict the Itsekiri Land Trust as an Instrument of oppression. Now that it has been clearly shown that neither of these settlers has any legal claims to any lands in the Division, we will try to describe briefly the beginning and the position of Itsekiri Land Trust in Warri Division and show why its existence is seen as a bitter pill to our adversaries.

Following some internal re-organization in Warri, an “Olu Fund” was created in 1924. The first Trustees were Chiefs Dore, Ogbobine and Omagbemi. The Olu Fund later became known as “Itsekiri National Fund”, in 1940. Monies collected on behalf of the Olu in respect of land dues were paid into this fund and this arrangement continued until 1958 when the government of the Western Region of Nigeria enacted the Communal Lands Rights (vesting in Trustees) Law, 1958 and the Itsekiri Trust Instrument in 1959. Thus, it is clear that the creation of 1959 of the Warri Division (Itsekiri Communal Land) Trust Instrument was only a statutory recognition of an existing practice then known as Itsekiri National Fund with roots dating 35 years earlier.

Why must those who enjoy our benevolence want to determine for us the course of our history and the use or organization of our National Fund? The height of impudence!

Unfortunately, it has become evident that whenever individuals from the Urhobo ethnicity hold positions of power, they seize the opportunity to encroach upon our lands and expand into our territories.

It is important to recall the unfortunate instances when the Urhobo community in Warri engaged in violent conflicts during the tenures of two previous Urhobo Governors. In both cases, the Urhobo community in Warri orchestrated riots and attacks against us, resulting in casualties on both sides. We cannot allow history to repeat itself under the current administration.

Let it be known that the Itsekiri people strive for peace within our lands. We do not seek war, but we will never shy away from protecting our territories and our people when threatened. We urge the UPU youth leaders to heed this warning, as their actions may result in irreparable damage and bloodshed for which an Urhobo Governor’s name will forever be associated.

Governor Sheriff, we implore you to be a Governor for all of Delta State, not solely for the Urhobo community. Your actions and decisions carry weight and impact the lives of all citizens. We appreciate the progress you have made thus far, and we believe that the statements made by the UPU youth leader may have been an exaggeration.

We trust that you are a leader of integrity and will not condone or support any actions that promote division and conflict.

Let us work together to build a united Delta State, where peace, harmony, and mutual respect prevail. Thank you.


Comrade Oritseweyiologbara Kwame Woode
Warri Progressive Defense Council

Comrade Gbubemi Awala
Itsekiri Interest Group

Comrade Lilywhite Omasanjuwa Esigbone
Itsekiri Historical Front

Comrade Abugewa Youngreen
Warri Political Interest Forum

Comrade Eboma Tuoyo Michael
Warri Youths for Good Governance

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