By Shola Akingboye, 23 February 2021
Despite the negligible population of the Ijaw community in the coastal riverine area of Ondo state, having migrated through fishing business to be accommodated by the Yorubas in their present location in Ilaje land many years back; a lawmaker of Ijaw extraction has kicked against the popular Ondo state government adoption of the Odua anthem in their own land.
It would be recalled that the dissolved State Executive Council last week approved the adoption of the Odua anthem to be sung after the National Anthem at official and public functions.
The house resolve that the Odua anthem was meant to preserve the tradition and culture of the Yoruba tribe.
Meanwhile, at the Tuesday plenary, an Ijaw lawmaker, Hon. Success Torhukerhijo representing Ese-Odo Constituency, urged the state government to immediately put on hold the Odua anthem adoption and conferred with Ijaw leaders to come up with the Ijaw version of the anthem if it must be sung in public places.
Though as the single lawmaker in the tsunami of other 25 Yoruba speaking parliamentarians described the action of the those who accomodated his ethnic group years back, as highly provocative and very irritating, saying it portends a deliberate affront to the peace loving Ijaws of Ondo State.
The lawmaker neglected all protocol , accused Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of running Info without recourse to the pluralistic nature of the State.
He said it was preposterous to adopt an anthem for the state in Yoruba language in Yoruba land without thinking of the concerns of the Ijaws.
Torhukerhijo in a statement issued in Akure said it was a ploy to obliterate the Ijaws from the history of Ondo State.
Torhukerhijo urged Governor Akeredolu to tow the path of his predecessors who he said created a Subordinate Area Council which enjoyed almost equal status with other Local Governments in the state in 1981.
He said the action has put an average right thinking Ijaw man into psychological trauma saying it smacked of lack of social equality and an antithesis to a united, just and free society.
According to him: “It is perplexing that the Governor in spite of his pedigree does not possess the political will for an all-inclusive government and the Ijaws of Ondo State have been consistently subjected to neglect and abandonment on issues of state by his executive and administrative actions.
“It is pitiable that the Ijaws with a lot of qualified manpower do not have a Permanent Secretary, no Judge in the State High Court and we are short-changed in every facet of the State public service by Governor Akeredolu’s executive and administrative actions. It is pathetic that we have only one Magistrate Court in the whole of the over 250 communities in Ijaw land and no Magistrate is posted to the place.
“The Governor is beckoned to strive to run an all-inclusive Government by considering the interest of the Ijaws in Ondo state in his administrative and executive actions and in all aspects of governance.
“This is intolerable and is outrightly rejected by the Ijaw ethnic nationality.” he vomits.