The seven Itsekiri groups that handed down the ultimatum in Warri after a meeting are: Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC, National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, NAIG, National Association of Itsekiri Students, NAIS, HOSTCOM Itsekiri Youth Wing, Itsekiri Benin River Pressure Group, IBRPG, Itsekiri Renewal Forum, IRF and the vibrant Movement For The Protection of Iwere Homeland, Development and History, MPIHDH.
Seven Itsekiri groups have handed down a 21-day ultimatum to the Ambassador Austin Oniyesan-led Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, IRDC, to withdraw its case in court against the Itsekiri nation or be prepared to face the wrath.
The leadership crisis rocking the Chevron created IRDC has further widened the gulf in the Itsekiri Nation.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the groups admonished the litigants to meet with The Olu of Warri to resolve all pending issues concerning the IRDC amicably, noting that since the court case, “Itsekiri Nation have suffered a lot of setback in terms of employment opportunities and other benefits accruable from Chevron”.
The communiqué signed by INYC President, Comrade Esimaje Awani, NAIG President, Comrade Collins Oritsetimeyin Edema, NAIS President, Comrade Oritseneye Fredrick, President of MPIHDH, Comrade James Aderojor Ereku, Wesley Madamedon for HOSTCOM Itsekiri Youth Wing, President of IBRPG, Comrade Raymond Aderojor and Jemine Omagbemi for IRF, stressed that those who took IRDC issue to court should realize “that IRDC is not their birth right and failure to distinguish between rights and privilege could lead to a permanent dissolution of IRDC”.
They warned that if Chevron continues to ignore the demand to deal directly with the Olu of Warri pending when all contending issues of IRDC are resolved, “it would lead to shutdown of its facilities within Iwere Nation which is CNL’s major area of operation with about 600,000 barrels of crude oil production daily”.
According to them, the formation of IRDC has done more harm than good to Itsekiri Nation, but they expressed optimism that the restructuring of “IRDC by The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli will bring about transparency and accountability which will enable the IRDC meet its responsibility towards Itsekiri Nation”.