Published On: Tue, Mar 29th, 2022

Warri Urhobos Urge INEC To Ignore Itsekiris Call For Reverse Of Current 12 Wards Structure To 10

Chief Westham Adehor JP and Olorogun Victor Okumagba JP addressing the Journalists in Abuja on why INEC should not yeild to Itsekiri People agitation to reverse back from 12 to the Oppressive and Unjust 10 ward structure which is against the interest of The Urhobos and Ijaws of Warri, Warri South Local Government Area

LAGOS MARCH 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Urhobos of Warri has appealed to Independent National Electoral Commission INEC  to ignore the Itsekiris who are plying pressure on it to reverse back to current 12 Ward structure to 10 in order to prevent another round of Crisis between the three ethnic groups of Urhobos, Ijaws and Itsekiris in Warri, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Urhobo of  Warri in a  statement signed by Chief Westerm Adehor ( JP) and Olorogun Victor Okumagba ( JP) Chairman and Secretary respectively, on behalf of themselves and the Urhobos of Warri made available to  in Abuja,  said Urhobos of Warri are law abiding but politically conscious people who occupy more than half of Warri South Local Government who have always co- habit with the Itsekiris but not without hitch.

They argued  that Warri Metropolis is generally is a collection of Urhobo,Ijaw and Itsekiri Kingdoms, with the two Urhobo Kingdoms of Agbarha- Warri and Okere- Urhobo Kingdoms which are independent Kingdoms recognised by the Delta State Government with their Traditional Rulers called ( Orhifi) of Agbragha Warri and Oroseun of Okere- Urhobo Kingdoms.

They in a statement made available to  said, “In recognition of the vast and dominance of the Urhobo People in Warri South Local Government Area INEC predecessor the National Electoral Commission Of Nigerian NECON,deemed it fit in its delineation exercise of 1998 delineated the entire Warri South Local Government Area into 12 WARDS as it was it’s duty to do.These 12 WARDS have been gazetted and given legal recognition by successive governments and electoral Bodies both National Regional and Local.

“The legal instrument by which the 12 Wards were created/ delineated are still extant and operational  and  has not been repealed not amended. It is worthy of note that, all successive general elections , Presidential, Governorship, National Assembly, State Assembly, and Local Government Elections in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State has been conducted on the basis of this 12 Wards till date.”

The Statement stressed that painfully, the Itsekiris started clamouring for the pre- 1998 era in which the Itsekiris have 8 wards while Agbarha – Warri, Okere – Urhobo and Ogbe- Ijaw Kingdoms of Warri are having only 2 wards.

“That era was ” considered, oppressive, lopsided, inequitable and a precipe for crisis.What an injustice? It was this injustice that resulted in   the delineation exercise of 1998 to correct the injustice and Elections have been conducted on the 12 Wards bases till date. Agbarha Warri and Okere- Urhobo Kingdoms have 6 wards while the Itsekiris have 5 and Ogbe-Ijaw Kingdom have 1.( GRA Ward).

“This arrangement had brought peace to Warri, until the present call by the Itsekiris to return to the pre- 1998 era which is a call to anarchy, inequity, social and political injustice which we urge INEC to reject, ” the statement recalled adding  that the 1998 delineation exercise was a means of a legal instrument and if the Itsekiris feel uncomfortable with it they should go through the appropriate quarters or legislature to effect such an amendment.

“We are ready to stage them on a public debate on the proprietary of the need to maintain the status quo. In the absence of this, we state that no amount of pressure from the Itsekiri people or from any other quarter should sway or swerve INEC from the present course of Justice and equity that is prevalent on account of these 12  wards, ” the statement stated.

They drew the attention of INEC to the fact that they have already instituted a suit in the Federal High Court in Warri with suit no,FHC/WR/C5/ 70/2020 against it and the Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner for proper interpretation of the relevant laws and to determine the legality of of the agitation of the Itsekiri People.

“It is against this backdrop of the foregoing that we are protesting that INEC should not deviate from the 12 Electoral Wards structure in Warri South Local Government Area. It  should ignore the agitation and pressure of the Itsekiri People on INEC.As any attempt to do otherwise will make INEC liable to contempt of court and thereby throw Warri into anarchy, ” the statement explained.

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