Nigeria Human Rights Community (NHRC) and leaders of Itsekiri in Delta state have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to address the injustice and marginalisation being meted out to the Itsekiri people.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Thursday, NHRC and the Itsekiris, led by Comrade Oritsetemeyin Edgar, Jolomi Penue and Tuoyo Urowayino noted that politics of exclusion, trampling underfoot of indigenous people, including Itsekiri people were largely responsible for instability in Nigeria.
Comrade Edgar who spoke on behalf of the people said,despite the contributions of the Itsekiri to the nation,they are being marginalized at the state and national level.
The leaders of Itsekiri noted that, the Itsekiri has contributed a lot to the growth of Nigeria and they don’t deserve the kind of treatment they are getting now.
“We call on people of good conscience to overview the pathetic state of Itsekiri people and historic injustice they have suffered in the hands of successive governments since 1960 and now, renewed with vigour since 1999 when democratic governance returned to Nigeria.”
The group stated that,the Itsekiri people have always been in support of the progressive government since 1950,and the Itsekiri people have always behaved themselves and never involved in armed struggle like some other communities in the Niger Delta.
Edgar added that in the last general elections,the Itsekiri voted overwhelmingly for the APC.”In the last 2023 elections, many prominent leaders in Itsekiri fully supported the All Progressives Congress APC.Though,the Itsekiri produce some 30 percent of Nigerian total oil output,the history of the people has been that of exclusion.”He said.
They noted that,the matter is even made worse that the Itsekiri are not even accorded any position in the management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).