NIGERIA: South - South Itsekiri Youths Protest In Warri, Issue 7-Day Ultimatum To President Jonathan

The ongoing fuss over the botched groundbreaking ceremony of the multibillion dollar  Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project took a dangerous dimension, as Itsekiri youths besieged Olu of Warri’s palace early on Saturday morning to issue a seven-day ultimatum to Jonathan to quickly reschedule the date of ceremony or forget any form of support from the ethnic nationality.

While the protest lasted, no official from the palace of the Olu of Warri, was available to address the war-songs-chanting youths.

When Sunday Tribune got the scene, some of the youths were armed with traditional fresh palm fronts and Itsekiri insignia of weapons of  warfare.

There were about five patrol vans of stern-looking policemen, who took positions in front of the palace of Olu of Warri, to avert a breakdown of law and order.

Miffed by the Ijaw call for the cancellation of the groundbreaking ceremony of the EPZ project last Friday, the youths threatened fire and brimstone, referring to Jonathan as a yes-man of former militant, Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, for heeding the call of the Ijaws of Gbaramatu.

Led by president of the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC), Comrade Esimaje Awani, some of the youths, in their hundreds, vent their anger with placards bearing inscriptions such as: “Stop the marginalisation Mr president,” ‘’Nobody can stop the EPZ groundbreaking in Ogidigben,’’ “Uduaghan has betrayed the Itsekiri nation,” and ‘’EPZ is bigger than the senatorial seat, Uduaghan be warned,” among others.

Awani accused Jonathan of outright inconsistency over the EPZ project, oppression and marginalisation of the Itsekiri nation.

He said: “For just no cause, in June, he planned to perform the groundbreaking, but called it off. Again, he has done it  just because of one individual called Tompolo who said he is not comfortable with the arrangement. He comes with Gbaramatu agenda which, geographically, does not exist in Ogidigben. The community they said has a stake with Ogidigben axis is about 14 Kilometres away from Ogidigben.”

He said since Itsekiri were no longer safe under the leadership of the president, they would seek refuge and freedom from the United States, the United Nations and Britain within seven days if a new day was not fixed to perform the  ceremony.

Source: Nigerian Tribune
Warri 2954998632366754402

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