Olu of Warri Distances Itsekiri Nation From Clark Stakeholders’ Meeting
LAGOS SEPTEMBER 2ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, on Thursday distanced the Itsekiri nation from the Chief Edwin Clark-led pan Niger Delta coastal states stakeholders’ meeting which is to negotiate with the Federal Government on behalf of militants in the region.
The Itsekiri monarch, in a statement issued by the Palace Administrator, Dr. Emmanuel Tetsola, also claimed not to be part of the meeting of the Niger Delta monarchs with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Ikachikwu.
While disowning those claiming to have represented Itsekiri nation at the two meetings, the statement stressed that the monarch had not authorised anybody to represent him.
It stated, “It has come to the knowledge of the Palace of the Olu of Warri that some Itsekiri sons and daughters who are attending the above mentioned meetings are claiming to be representing either the Olu of Warri or the Itsekiri people of Delta State.
“The Palace wishes to state categorically that while individuals are entitled to freedom of speech and association, as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution, it has not authorised or mandated any person to represent either the Olu of Warri or the Itsekiri people at these meetings.”
The statement particularly frowned on a report in one of the national dailies which claimed that Prof. Lucky Akaruese represented the Itsekiri ethnic nationality at both meetings.
“Consequently, those persons who attended these meetings cannot arrogate to themselves the authority to speak or represent either the Olu of Warri or the Itsekiri people,” the Olu of Warri added.
The statement urged the general public to disregard such insinuation.
The Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, had two weeks ago convened a stakeholders’ meeting of six coastal states of the Niger Delta at Effurun in Delta State towards proferring solution to the renewed militancy in the region.
The meeting was attended by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa while his counterpart in Bayelsa State was represented on the occasion.
The meeting resolved to set up a dialogue team which would discuss with the Federal Government on behalf of militant groups in the region.
The Niger Delta Avengers have also given the Clark-led dialogue team the go-ahead to discuss on its behalf whenever the federal government was ready.