As more angry reactions continue to trail the recent release of the names of 492 delegates to the National Conference, which is due to be inaugurated on March 17, the Itsekiri in Delta State on Saturday protested their exclusion from the conference, threatening to break-away if the anomaly was not urgently redressed.
“Our exclusion from the confab is the last straw and we are prepared to go out of Nigeria”, an Itsekiri leader, Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori-Ogbebor fumed.
“We woke up yesterday, the 7th of March, 2014 to find that no Itsekiri name was among the delegates attending the confab. This means the interest of the Itsekiri man or woman is not important in the scheme of this country”, she explained.
She went on: “We are not surprised because this shameless subjugation and marginalisation of the Itsekiri people have been with us for many years due to extreme jealousy.
“The Itsekiri nation has been in existence for over 700 years. Our Chief Dore Numa representing the Olu of Warri was one of those who signed the amalgamation treaty in 1914.
“If the Itsekiri nation was recognized as a nation in 1914, how come that the Itsekiri canot have a say today in the structural review of this country that will bring us peace. Let nobody be deceived. Whether you like it or not, Itsekiri, as a nation, contributes more than any nation to our revenue-in oil and gas.
“The Itsekiri are pained. We have endured this marginalisation and subjugation for too long. We also want to note that it is only the Itsekiris that can choose their representatives. It is our right and no one can take it from us. The people around us have sworn to make our life miserable. They have taken our lands. Our exclusion from the confab is the last straw and we are prepared to go out of Nigeria”, the well-respected Itsekiri leader threatened.