Exclusive: Again, Ijaw Comrades Tackle Okowa Over Neglect, Stresses Demands

The Delta Ijaw Comrade Community recently released a communique, decrying it’s neglect by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration and demanding for recognition as well as appointment of it’s members into equitable positions of government.

In this interview with Daily Report Nigeria Politics, Comrade Welemu Williams, the Interim Committee Chairman of the DICC did justice in narrating the plight of the group, it’s demands from the government and a would-be next line of action if their demands fall on deaf ears.

Enjoy excerpts…

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Q. What informed the recent communique released by the DICC?

Ans: It is no longer news that a purported group called the Delta Comrade Community has hijacked access to equitable sharing of positions that are due the Comrade Community in Delta state. Delta South and specifically within our context as Delta Ijaw Comrade Community, we have not benefited from the goodwill of His Excellency and this is because some elements are doing their best to ensure that they make little our contribution before His Excellency, but of course, I know that in due time, we have began already, we’ll continue to set the records straight, and we’ll continue to demand what is ours and we’ll continue to say that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and that we qualify more than any other person to also earn positions in government to serve our people and as well create a channel for even our brothers to have access to government. That is what it is and there is no mincing of words. Thank you.

Q. What supportive roles has the DICC played in the administration of the incumbent government?

Well, DICC as a group is not in the habit of endorsing candidates for elective positions because we are a community of comrades with different political affiliations but basically when we find ourselves in this kind of situations, we know that our brothers who merit and who should benefit from government are wallowing there without due recognition when even younger cadres are being appointed and even promoted to certain levels.

While we do not say that nobody is due what they are due, we are saying that everybody should be carried along especially DICC. Our members have in many ways contributed so much to his emergence and even his outstanding poll victory and that is what it is.

But, before you ask me what role DICC has played in the administration of the incumbent government, please ask yourself, who are the members of DICC? DICC members are standing comrades that you know everywhere in Ijawland, taking action, doing what they should to contribute to so much to their communities. You know what we do.

Even in the advocacy for peace, we are well known to support Government peace actions and peaceful engagement and have been a voice against vandalism and social vices. even as I speak to you, I know of the Ijaw Unity and Sensitization program that is about to go on, which high standing members of DICC are part of the team putting this together. We have been doing so much socially, and we have been contributing a lot to the peace that is experienced so far.

We have also been very outspoken in terms of what should and what due us even from the Federal Government, which of course is to the benefit of the state. So when we begin to demand things from the FG that you see some come to fruition; at the front of the fight for the soul of the Okerenkoko Maritime University were comrades of the DICC.

All of these are beneficial to the state and they are standing records that you can check anywhere and it remains true. For you to ask me or for anybody to pose a question about what we have done for the incumbent government is simply a case of the person not being in touch with reality.

Q. Your mentioned in your communique that His Excellency may have been misled by false information served him about your inputs in the state. Is it possible this falsehood was displayed by your leaders?

Ans: to try to exonerate anybody is to shoot ourselves in the leg. What we are saying is that this attention we are lacking is directed to the governor. Some of us network far and near and even went further to secure grassroot support in our various constituencies, not just as DICC members, but some also in the capacity of being bona fide members of the party he rode on to power, by and large and all I’m trying to say is this agitation is strictly directed to the Governor and that is because the bulk ends on his table and we are not trying to absolve anybody.

While we are not saying nobody is culpable, we are not absolving anybody of blames, we are saying the bulk ends at the table of His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.

Q. In clear terms, can you reiterate the demands of the DICC?

Ans: In simple terms, “who work, De chop,” that is a popular local parlance. Even while we were campaigning for the Governor in our various locations, we would always say that “now na monkey work, monkey chop, no be monkey work, bamboo chop again.

Obviously, the role that the Delta Comrade Community is playing under the leadership of certain elements who are aides to the Governor is very worrisome, where people act so ‘sectionally.’

There are quite a number of issues but we would not want to to delve into issues. In clear terms, our demands are that we also deserve appointments especially of keen interest, at worse, Special Assistant on Student Affairs, Youth Mobilization with a host of other positions we deserve, so we clear the doubts of those who are banking on a nepotistic tendency to arm twist fellow deltans especially fearless ijaw conrades.

There are a lot of us who worked for the Governor and not just worked, comrades that are well qualified and competent youths that can continue to add color to the administration of the Governor if they were to be in a position of trust. That is our demand and it is very direct and there is no need to cut corners. Na who work na e De chop.

Also, the skewed and ill-fated arrangements of the Delta Comrades Community should be looked into because, an organization that claims to be an umbrella body is supposed to take into cognizance and respect for people who bear that name. If not for anything, even if we decide not to associate with ourselves, let it be known that when there are critical decisions to be made especially as it concerns the whole community, not some jamboree and tea party arrangements as some continue to perpetuate.

For us, we are still standing on our demands that it is very important that the Governor listens to our call and in fact, everybody knows that what we are demanding is what we are well overdue.

Q. What is the planned next line of action if these terms are not met?

Ans: The DICC is not my personal estate, neither is it my own private company, it is a community of ‘Intellectuals and Daredevils’ if you permit me to use that word. Our next line of action will be decisive but I cannot comment on that now until there is a widely consulted position.

But certainly, if our complaints and our plights fall on deaf ears, we will be definitely very decisive and, of course we are not chickens, we will make it public it as well.

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Written by Tare Magbei

Tare Magbei is a media practitioner with Daily Report Nigeria.

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