Professor Benjamin Okaba, the President of the Ijaw National Congress, has expressed disappointment over President Bola Tinubu’s alleged failure to reprimand the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, for his purported role in the political crisis in Rivers State.
Okaba conveyed his dissatisfaction, asserting that the President’s silence amid Wike’s actions suggested support for the minister. He claimed that Wike’s actions were a challenge to the Ijaw nation, and the Ijaw people were now angered by the situation.
The Ijaw leader emphasized that despite hosting vital oil resources and installations that sustain the country, the Ijaw nation has endured prolonged marginalization. He further warned that the Ijaw nation and the people of the Niger Delta could no longer guarantee the safety of oil facilities in the region.
Addressing reporters after leading hundreds of Ijaw youths in a solidarity march to Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara at Government House, Port Harcourt, Okaba stated, “We are already angered that the government of President Bola Tinubu has marginalized Ijaw people. In Delta State, where three persons were picked for a federal appointment, none are from the Ijaw nation.”
“Meanwhile, the Ijaws are the most economically viable in that state. We are noting all of this. But for him to keep quiet and allow Wike to misbehave shows that there is some tacit support. And we shall not take that.”
Expressing the frustration and anger of the Ijaw people, Okaba warned that the safety of oil installations in Ijaw land and the entire region could no longer be guaranteed if the current situation persisted.
He emphasized, “Since 1958, Nigeria has been surviving on the oil that comes from Ijaw land. Today, we are crying about marginalization; we call it environmental degradation. The Ijaw nation is most affected when you talk of climate change and all that. But daily, we are treated as if we are not humans. This must stop.”
“40 million Ijaw people are angered and aggrieved. And they are saying that a slap on Governor Fubara is a slap on the entire Ijaw nation. Any attempt to further close up or political space to remove Siminalayi Fubara from office is a call for fire.”