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IYC Calls For Creation Of Autonomous Ijaw Council In Edo State, Seeks Creation Of Toru-Ibe State

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has called for the creation of autonomous local government area for the Ijaw people of Edo State.

The group says the people of Egbema, Olodiama, Gbarain, Furupagha and Okomu Ijaw Kingdoms in Edo state deserved to be under one Ijaw local government council.

President of the IYC, Eric Omare made the call at Sabomi, Ijaw Apoi Clan in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State at the weekend while addressing a press conference along with Ijaw traditional rulers and the Ijaw Apoi traditional council of chiefs, Ondo State.

The IYC leader asserted that the creation of autonomous local government area is the panacea to the growing tension between the Ijaw people of Edo State and the Binis in Edo State.

According to Omare, the reason for the Binis laying claim to Ijaw lands in Edo State and the over lordship of the Oba of Benin is because of the balkanization of the Ijaw people into three Bini dominated local government areas in Edo State, namely Ovia South West, Ovia North East and Ikpoba Okhai Local government areas as micro minorities despite their huge population and treated like third class citizens in their own country.

Omare urged the Binis and the Edo State Government to emulate the example of Ondo State where the Ijaws of Apoi and Arogbo have an autonomous local government area known as Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and allowed local political freedom to choose their leaders and treated as equals in the affairs of the state.

Unlike Edo State, in Ondo State Ijaws have council chairman of their own, member of the House of Assembly, a member of the state executive council, have produced members of the federal house of representative, former minister of the federal republic of Nigeria and currently the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.

However, the reverse is the case as the Edo Ijaws are not even allowed to produce councilor of their own in some cases.

The situation of the Edo State Ijaws is similar to the apartheid regime in South Africa.

To address the political oppression of the Edo Ijaws, Omare also suggested that in the long run homogenous Ijaw state to be known as TORU-IBE STATE be created for the geographically contiguous and culturally homogenous Ijaw people of Delta, Edo and Ondo States.

Omare stated that the oppression of the Edo Ijaws is getting to a boiling point and reminded the Edo State government and the Bini people of the saying that ‘‘those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable’’.

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