NIGER DELTA ALLIANCE FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE.
A STATE OF THE NATION: PRESS RELEASE ON THE ACQUISITION AND NAMING OF THE NIGERIA MARITIME UNIVERSITY, OKERENGHIGHO.
“In a society where there is no rule of law, the citizens are prone to intimidation and violence”….. Tuoyo O. Ojumude.
Firstly, we the executive and members of NIGER DELTA ALLIANCE FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE (NDAEJ) wants to applaud the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) over the memo “Re: A Bill To Establish Maritime University Which Seek To Change The Name Of The University Community From Okerenghigho to Okorenkoko” from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, signed by H. A. Tahir on behalf of the AGF, dated October, 17 2017 to the Clerk of the National Assembly not to alter the aboriginal name and location of the University from Okorenghigho, based on the fact that the name Okorenkoko was corrupted by the Ijaws who were tenants in the community. Citing a Supreme Court decision in the matter of James Uluba and others vs. Chief E. E Sillo and others in a response to a letter by the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC).
It would be recalled that on February 28, 2017 after attending and submitting a MEMO at the public hearing of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TET FUND titled “THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE: A CASE OF THE UNLAWFUL ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR THE PURPOSED MARITIME UNIVERSITY AT OKERENGHIGHO”, NDAEJ held a press briefing in the oil city of Warri where they urged the National Assembly to take cognizance of the Supreme Court judgement on the ownership of the location where the institution is being sited in passing the Nigerian Maritime University Bill, stating that the name of the place is Okorenghigho and not Okorenkoko as then contained in the bill which was aired on NTAi news bulletin and numerous print media including vanguard.
The body’s National Coordinator, Comr. Terry Ajagbawa stated, “that the efficiency of the rule of law is hanged on the compliance by governmental bodies and agencies. It was vehemently echoed that the Itsekiri nation is not against the setting up of the Maritime University but emphasized that the land should be properly negotiated with the Omadino people who are the rightful owners as upheld by the Supreme Court judgement on Suit No. SC/294/70 between James Uluba and others (1973), INSCC, Vol. 8 Page 49”.
It is regrettable and pathetic that in a National Assembly of 109 Distinguished Senators, led by Dr. Bukola Saraki as her President decided to turn a blind eye to a ruling from the highest Judicial house in the nation for so long despite pressures from concerned entities for them to do the needed correction through the Senate Committee On Tertiary Institution and TET FUND. The Senate Committee on education and the Senate in general should bury their head in shame for disregarding the judgement of the apex Court of the land. One is forced to question the integrity, sincerity and credibility of Senator James Manager who sponsored the bill and connived with other Senators in abandoning the 1973 Supreme Court ruling thereby misleading Nigerians and at the same time, giving the ijaw ethic nationality a basketful of mirage hope.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”….. Benjamin Franklin. We are therefore using this medium to call on the Nigeria Judicial Council(NJC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), national and international Rights bodies, civil society groups and lovers of democracy/rule of law to add their voices and throw their full support behind the agitation for the National Assemble to uphold the rule of law. We also wish to plea with all lovers of democracy/rule of law to join us at proposed staging of a 1million man match (peaceful protest) as we take upon ourselves the responsibility to see that the rule of law is being followed by the National Assembly in the implementation of the recommendation of the AGF as it concerns the bill establishing the Nigeria maritime University, Okerenghigho.
We are using this medium to call on the attention of the Nigeria minister of defence, General Mansur Muhammed Dan Ali, minister of interior, Lieutenant-General. Abdulrahman Dambazau (ret.), Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Inspector General of Police (NPF), Abrahim Idris, Director-General department of State Security (DSS), Lawal Musa Daura and other heads of Nigeria security agencies on the renewed endless threat of violence by well known personalities of the ijaw ethnic nationality to resist the federal governmental agencies from carrying out their constitutional duties relating to the proper naming of the maritime university location, okerenghigho. This can be evidently seen on national television, prints and social media threatening both residence of the region and federal government.
We are all calling on the above named security agencies to do everything within their constitutional powers to protect and defend the itsekiri people as they are peace loving and law abiding citizens of this great country, Nigeria.
Once again, we wish to commend the courage and swift response of the Anthony General of the Federation, his action has sent a clear message to all Nigerians and the international community that Nigeria is an entity has respect for the rule of all.
We are appealing to the National Assembly to see the MEMO/advice from the AGF as a window of opportunity to redeem itself from public ridicule. The AGF has truly shown to Nigerians that the nation has a future and that democracy and the rule of law has come to stay.
Finally, we are also using this opportunity to draw the attention of the Executive and Legislative arm of government on the continuous recognition of Ogbe-Ijoh as the headquarters of Warri South-West local government area against Ogidigben as gazetted by the Federal Government till date. An illegality that the Delta state government and her political class had manipulated against the Nigerian constitution to suit personal interest.
Comrade Ajadbawa Terry,