The Ijaw ethnic nationality in Ondo State have described as provocative and irritating the recent adoption of Odua anthem in the state by governor Rotimi Akeredolu as an anthem to be sung in public functions in the state.
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.
It said the Odua anthem was meant to project the tradition and culture of the Yoruba tribe.
But the Ijaw described the action as a deliberate affront to the peace loving Ijaw in the state, just as they accused the governor of of running Info without recourse to the pluralistic nature of the State.
Representative of the Ijaw in the Ondo House of Assembly, Hon. Success Torhukerhijo representing Ese-Odo Constituency, said it was preposterous to adopt an anthem for the state in Yoruba language without thinking of the concerns of the Ijaws where the state has two ethnic nationalities- the majority Yoruba and the minority Ijaw.
Hon Torhukerhijo in a statement issued in Akure said it was a ploy to obliterate the Ijaw from the history of Ondo State.
According to him, 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.
“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 said.
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While urging the Governor 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, Torhukerhijo further urged Rotimi Akeredolu to immediately put on hold the Odua anthem and conferred with Ijaw leaders to come up with the Ijaw version of the anthem if it must be sung in public places.