Ijaw divided over plans by S'South elders to hijack power

THE SUN Newspaper-Femi Folaranmi

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has more challenges to contend with as a major crack has occurred in the Ijaw nation over attempts by a group of elders to hijack power for themselves. The group led by a prominent South-South leader in Ijaw who is a frontline Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is said to be desperate to hijack power for his group of South-South elders thereby shielding people from the acting president.

The danger posed by the activities of the group and their implications for the acting president were extensively discussed at an interactive Ijaw meeting held at the Government House Banquet Hall, Yenagoa chaired by the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Dr Atuboyedia Obianime.

According to very reliable sources, the group, which had been maligning Ijaw sons and daughters, peddling stories that they were against Jonathan, had also been compiling curricula vitae of politicians, promising to give them appointments.
Sources at the meeting said Dr. Obianime explained at the gathering that the activities of the group were militating against the unity of the Ijaw nation.

A source quoted Obianime as saying no South-South group could make concessions on behalf of the Ijaw nation expect the INC.
“I want to sue for unity. If we have acting president and we are not united, we are making a mess of the whole situation. INC is representing Ijaw people but Ijaw elders are meeting in Abuja calling themselves South-South leaders. It is only INC that can make concessions to the Nigerian state on behalf of the Ijaw nation.”

Obianime was said to have pointedly accused some people at the meeting of also being part of the group’s meeting, stressing that “the meeting should be properly defined as South-South PDP elders meeting so that people would know it is a political assignment.”
The INC president who maintained that the group’s activities were inimical to the INC disclosed that the group once referred to the INC meetings as parallel to its own.
This was said to have miffed most of the people at the meeting as they called for a definite pronouncement from the INC.
Consequently, the meeting agreed that henceforth only the leadership of the INC should talk on behalf of the Ijaw nation.
“For now don’t speak for us, when Ijaws want to speak, we speak through the INC,” Obianime said.


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