By Aherhoke Okioma
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned as derogatory a statement credited to Rivers State Governor Nyosom Woke against the ethnic group over their demand for the release of Hon. Fara Dagogo.
It described Wike’s outburst as insulting and totally unacceptable. Chief Wike’s had on Sunday launched an attack on the Ijaw ethnic nationality following the controversy over the arrest of a federal lawmaker, Hon. Farah Dagogo, and the 48 hours ultimatum issued for his immediate release.
IYC, in a statement reacting to the use of “Thunder Fire You” by Wike on the Ijaw nation during the church service, described the comment as disturbing, inciting, and denigrating of the high office he occupies. IYC, through its National Spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, noted that such a “tactless and disrespectful” comment by Wike was the height of his prolonged disdain for the ethnic nation as a whole and Rivers Ijaw people in particular since he became governor of the state.
It said it was even more shocking that the Rivers governor took his unrestrained verbiage to the hallowed pulpit of a church and desecrated the altar of God. IYC restates that its only ‘sin’ that attracted Wike’s ire was its demand alongside its parent organ, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), for the release of their kit and kin arrested and remanded in prison on the orders of the governor.
IYC added: “Despite being the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria and the largest in the Niger Delta, the Ijaw 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 call him to order.
“The IYC also reminds Governor Wike that power is transient and that by May 29, 2023, he will vacate the exalted governorship seat, that he has equally ridiculed, to become an ordinary citizen like others in Rivers State and Nigeria. “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 ‘hunder’ did not fire the former president when, despite all odds, he made him the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party 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 delegates in his party not to cast their votes for him during the presidential primaries as this will be viewed as betrayal of our heritage.
Suffice it 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?”