…It’s A Mechanism To Trample Upon Our Identity And Fundamental Human Right – FIYE
Our attention has been drawn to a declaration recently made by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State directing all public functions and Secondary schools to henceforth sing Oduduwa Anthem immediately after the Nigerian National Anthem.
We, the Foundation For Ijaw Youth Empowerment, (FIYE), hereby state without mincing words that the Ondo State Governor’s unguided and unlawful directive can never hold water in the Ijaw territories of the State, because the Ijaw Kingdoms in Ondo State are part of Niger Delta region, the same way the Yoruba Kingdoms are part of Oduduwa Nation, which are both components of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, we (Ijaws in Ondo State), are not part of a separatist group called Oduduwa.
FIYE, therefore utterly reject the so called Oduduwa Anthem in Schools and any function in the Ijaw domiciled Areas such as Arogbo, Apoi and Furupagha Kingdoms in Ese Odo and Odigbo Local Government Areas of Ondo State.
We must say that the declaration of Oduduwa Anthem in secondary schools and public functions across the State is a mechanism by the Majority Yoruba Nationality to trample upon the identity and heritage as Ijaws, as well as our fundamental human rights, tradition and culture, as minority Ijaw Nationality in the State.
It is however, a shame that such inflammatory directive is coming out from a learned Governor, who have led the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), as Chairman in time past.
Nevertheless, FIYE wish to remind Governor Akeredolu that Ondo State consist of two, (2) ethnic Nationalities, The (Yoruba majority and the Ijaw minority), who are both aborigines of their various areas of dwelling in the State, and that both Nations should be accorded their due respect.
Consequently, we are irrevocably and unequivocally saying that the Ijaw Kingdoms, whose settlement precedes the creation of Nigeria let alone that of Ondo State wholly forbid Governor Akeredolu’s declaration, which is an imposition of Oduduwa Anthem in our domain, because it is absurd and irrational, to say the least. It is also not in congruence with the orderly relationship regarding the supremacy of the Nigerian State in which the Oduduwa Nation, Ijaw Nation and other Nations alike are integral units.
Comrade Samson O Ajagbini
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