…berates Itsekiris for wanting to harvest where they did not sow
….pleads with buhari’s wife to appeal to husband to take right steps
…..warns Itsekiri women on repercussions of conflict
…tasks Christian leaders to speak the truth
The women leader of Gbaramatu kingdom, in the Warri South West Local Government, Chief Vero Tangbuwei , who is an Akpata descendant from Okerenkoko (the owners of the site of the Maritime University) has dismissed the claims of the former Delta State Attorney General, on the naming of the Maritime University,Okerenkoko.
Going down memory lane, Chief Tangbuwei claimed that it was untrue that her ancestors either borrowed or were gifted lands by the Itsekiri.
She warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow himself to be used by certain individuals who are only out for their pecuniary interests.
She pleaded with the President’s wife to plead with her husband to allow the truth prevail in this matters, while also appealing to her Itsekiri colleagues to ensure that their people sheathe their swords, as she warned that they( women) and their children, being of weaker strength, would bear the brunt of a full scale war.
In an exhaustive interview with Gbaramatuvoice, she spoke about her fears and facts surrounding the dispute with the Itsekiris..excerpts.
”My name is Triple Chief Vero Tangbuwei, Akpata descendant from Okerenkoko community under Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state. I am the National Woman Leader of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
”I am here to dismiss the claims by the former Attorney General of Delta state that they the Itsekiris gave out land to my great, great grandfather, Papa Akpata, to found Okerenkoko. It is a very big lie.
”Okerenkoko was there before Omadino. Where was Omadino when Akpata went to them to give him land? I was born and brought up in Okerenkoko and I’ve never seen any Itsekiri man or woman except those that came to us to buy cray fish.
”Today, out of no where, the former Attorney General of Delta state is confirming the memo of the Attorney General of the Federation. It is a very wrong information. I call on my great great grandfather, Akpata, who is now a spirit to visit this former Attorney General, to defend his name. Visit whoever is behind this Okerenkoko to Okerenghigho infamy, because he is no longer alive to speak for himself, they have concorted all sorts of lies against him. He should visit them to clear his name.
”I am taking this opportunity to tell the Attorney General of the Federation that the former Attorney General of Delta state is dishing out to him all forms of dis-information. Where was the Itsekiri people when the Nigerian Maritime University was founded? It was their own blood brother, former governor, Ewetan Uduaghan who approved the siting of the university. Why can’t they come and claim it then that they were the owners of the place?
”The Itsekiri people are known for their ill-perceived claims. it is their stosk-in-trade, they can change any name. They call the Urhobos, Isobos; the Ijaws, Ijon. Even if they have opportunity to change the name of the president, they will do it; to change the name from Buhari to Obuari, they will do it.
”Tomorrow they will come and claim Buhari’s properties. Every tribe has a way of calling names. Like we the Ijaws, we call the Urhobo people, Bi-abor; that does not mean we will go and claim Urhobo peoples’ properties tomorrow.
”The Itsekiri people claim they are wiser than everybody ; they feel that after God, it is them. It was because God was with us that is why the Ijaws from Gbaramatu Kingdom have the only higher institution given to us. And so, all what they’re doing is out of envy.
”They were surprised, because they never knew such thing will come to the Ijaw man. Gbaramatu people are blessed. In Okerenkoko till date, no single person has come to point to us that an Itsekiri man compound is here. If they claim to have land there, won’t they have compound there? Won’t they have a sign to show they are the owners? So why is that they are now after Okerenkoko? For over 50years I’ve not heard of any place called Okerenghigho.
”As our father in the Lord, Papa Oritsejafor, has his own private university close to Omadinor, can we come from Gbaramatu or Okerenkoko and say this place was called Amadinor, and so they should change the name of Papa Ayo private university from Omadinor to Amadinor?.
” That Omadinor is called Amadinor in Ijaw language but they changed it. Even that Omadinor they are claiming belongs to us, the Gbaramatu people, but we don’t want conflicts, we are one. ‘We intermarry between ourselves and have children together. Even I, that is speaking here, my father have an Itsekiri boy from Bateren, and that boy is working with me. So because of that we leave everything to God; to live peacefully together because we inter-marry. Even till today we are still marrying ourselves.
”I am using this opportunity to call my Itsekiri sisters. We mothers, if anything happens to our children and our husbands, will suffer. We should not fold our hands and let one man from no where bring fresh crisis into our lives.
”When problem comes, we will not see any of these people. So we should call our husbands to order. In the local government, we work together, so why are we fighting ourselves?. That school is for everybody. For instance, the EPZ project is in Ogidigben and part of it is in Gbaramatu. Are we not working together?
”I also call on the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari to talk to his husband to do the right thing. I am also using this opportunity to advise those who claim to be Christians to say the truth so the devil will be put to shame”.