By; ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
Crisis is currently brewing over the alleged appointment of an Itsekiri man as market master of the Ogbe-Ijoh Market in Warri, by the Warri South Local Governments Council Chairman.
The Ogbe-Ijoh people and other Ijaws in Warri may be having a repeat of the Warri fratricidal wars with their Itsekiri and Urhobo neighbours from Agbasa axis in Warri if the situation is not well managed.
The Ijaws are insisting that only an Ijaw man is qualified to be the master of Ogbe-Ijoh market in Warri.
At the time of this report, there is serious tension over the matter as the Ogbe-Ijoh Chapter of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC Worldwide today staged a peaceful protest over the alleged appointment of an Itsekiri man as a master at Ogbe-Ijoh market by the Warri South Council Chairman, Dr. Michael Tidi.
The Ijaw youths chanted solidarity songs during their peaceful protests in Warri.
They also bear placards with inscriptions such as, “We say No to Itsekiri market master & Agbasa market Secretary imposed on Ogbe-Ijoh market”, “Tidi we reject your plan to kill Ogbe-Ijoh market because your Pessu market is dead”,
“Ogbe-Ijoh people are yet to handover Ogbe-Ijoh market to Delta State Govt, Deltans please take Note”, “We pass Vote of No Confidence on Michael Tidi as Warri South Local Government Chairman”, “Michael Tidi, don’t use Ogbe-Ijoh market for your campaign for your second tenure to the Itsekiri” and “Delta State Government please come and complete the building of Ogbe-Ijoh market.”
Addressing newsmen in Warri, the IYC Chairman in Ogbe-Ijoh, Engr. Smart Okosun rejected and condemned the appointment of an Itsekiri man as the market master in Ogbe-Ijoh market.
He insisted that “the Ogbe-Ijoh market Committee already in place should continue to oversee the affairs of the market and not the Committee set up by The Warri South Council Chairman, Michael Tidi pending when the Delta State Government completes same.
“Okosun that Itsekiri and Urhobo indigenes were appointed as market masters to run the affairs of Ugbuwangue, Pessu and Igbudu markets in Warri.
“Today, we condemn that act and we will not allow the market master appointment by Tidi to work in this Council.
“Tidi should not use this our market to for his political ambition. Tidi wants to cause crisis in this area in Warri and the crisis will consume him.
“As the Council, I have come to render my grievances with my people to the State Government to come and build Ogbe-Ijoh market.
“There will be no market master if the Government fails to come build the market”.
An IYC Parliamentarian, Comrade Oromoni Nathaniel who corroborated the claims of the IYC Chairman vehemently kicked against the appointment of the said Itsekiri man who was appointed as market master in the market.
He said, “It’s unacceptable. Ogbe-Ijoh market has not been completed by the State Government. Therefore, there is no way a market master can be sent to this market.
” We are calling on the State Government to call the attention of Michael Tidi not to cause another crisis in Warri because the market belongs to the Ogbe-Ijoh people.
“So, we are totally against it. He is just planning to cause crisis in Warri again and if he tries it and it happened, that crisis in Warri will consume Michael Tidi.
” We are calling on the State Government to draw his attention to put a stop to this crisis that’s coming.”
Nathaniel further called on the Delta State Government to come help them build and complete the market which is more or less abandoned.