In his bid to bring back ljaw National Congress (l.N.C.) to limelight, the foremost Presidential aspirant in the forthcoming election, Alaowei Fred Owotorufa has assured ljaw nation of his pain to pursue the creation of two additional states as well as local government areas for his people when elected.
He gave the assurance on Saturday in Benin and Akure Chapters of lNC during his campaign trip to delegates from the various ljaw clans in Edo and Ondo States, noted that Toru-Ebe and Oil Rivers states were among the demands contained in the ljaw National Congress (INC) Memorandum that was submitted to the National Assembly in January, 1996.
He stressed that among the three states creation demanded by INC at that time, the former Nigeria Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha reluctantly approved and created Bayelsa state only with eight local government areas that was not up to the Nigeria constitution required number of ten. ” The reason was that the ljaws are from minority ethnic group at then, hence they took advantage on us.”
He proved his profound understanding of the long history of ljaw nation agitation for state creation and unveiled the necessary approaches and steps he intends to adopt in the pursuit of its actualisation.
Speaking further on the areas of traditional institution, Barr. Owotorufa promised Edo and Ondo state ljaws that he will use his good office to intellectually engage any powers that may be to ensure that the five ljaw kingdoms, Egbema, Olodiama, Okomu, Furupagha, Gbaraun in Edo, and Apoi as well as Arogbo clans in Ondo state are given the needed recognition in the state in particular, and Nigeria at large.
According to him, additional states and local government area creation is dearest to his heart and shall take much of the good part of his time in office WHEN elected as President of the prestigious Ijaw National Congress (INC).
” l will vigorously engage traditional institutions, leaders of thought, and relevant stakeholders to seek for the actualisation of the remaining two (2) culturally homogeneous and geographically contiguous states namely Toru-Ebe, and Oil Rivers States which were part of the demands contained in the Ijaw National Congress (INC) Memorandum that was submitted to the National Assembly in January 1996.”
He reiterated that Burutu LGA in Delta state and Southern ljaw in Bayelsa state is bigger enough to be divided into three or more separate local government areas. ” If Emir palace in Kano is a local government area on its own, why Burutu and Southern ljaw cannot be divided into six? It is my utmost desire to use my contacts and connections to actualize this for ljaw nation when given the mandate.”
However, Owotorufa speaks not to impress or entertain his audience but, demonstrates the immutable fact that with God and quality leadership all things are possible. He pleaded with the various clan delegates to vote him as the next President of congress for a greater, united Ijaw nation, he asserted.