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Ignore protests against Okumagba’s appointment as NDDC MD, group tells Buhari

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Okumagba

The Urhobo of Warri (UoW) in Warri South Council Area of Delta State have urged President Muhamadu Buhari to ignore protests against the appointment of Bernard Okumagba as Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Reacting to a publication titled, “Need To Appoint New Managing Director of NDDC From Delta South Senatorial District,” by a group known as APC Common Cause Of Concerned Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri, the group particularly charged the President to ignore all protests from the area, describing them as distractions.

In a statement jointly signed by their leaders, Professor Ekporode Ukuvwede, Dr. Lawrence Ukuvwede and Chief Akhali Adaighofua in Warri and made available to The Guardian yesterday in Asaba, it described the claims canvassed in the publication as baseless and unfounded as its authors were faceless.

“Bernard Okumagba hails from Urhobo area of Warri South and Warri Urhobo area comprises Agbarha Kingdom, Warri and Okere Urhobo. The two kingdoms are more in population and size in Warri South Council Area with seven of the 12 federal wards in the council area.

“And Warri Urhobo riverine communities of Oteghele and Ukpokiti are oil rich areas with OML 108 and OML 30 oil delivering lines respectively,” the statement reads.

The group also pointed out that the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NPDC), Heritage Petroleum and some oil producing companies have their operational offices in the Urhobo communities mentioned above.

It cited the Supreme Court judgment in suit Nos. W/48/68/SC/309 to disprove the Itsekiri ownership claim over Warri South Council Area to support their point.

On loyalty to the All Progressives Congress (APC), they claimed, “Undisputable figures available prove that the Urhobo of Warri voted more for APC than the Itsekiri in the last general elections due to Bernard Okumagba’s influence.”

They also accused the Itsekiri of betraying their son and former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was APC candidate for Delta South Senatorial District in the last election.

They stressed that in spite of their population and size adding, “We have always been marginalised and sidelined under any political platform in sharing of political offices in Warri South since the advent of politics in Nigeria.


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