The leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has described as “insulting and totally unacceptable” the attack by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on the Ijaw ethnic nationality following a controversy between him and a lawmaker, Farah Dagogo.
The IYC viewed Governor Wike’s “Thunder Fire You” comment as disturbing, inciting and denigrating of the high office he occupied.
The IYC leadership noted that such “tactless and disrespectful comment” by Wike was the height of his prolonged disdain for the Ijaw nation as a whole and Rivers’ Ijaw people in particular since he became governor of the state.
The IYC in a release said its only offence alongside its parent body, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), was asking for the release of an Ijaw son, Dagogo, who was arrested and remanded in prison on the orders of the Rivers governor.
The IYC said, “Despite being the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria and the largest in the Niger Delta, the Ijaw have consistently promoted peaceful and harmonious relationships with other ethnic groups, including Wike’s Ikwerre nationality in Rivers State. However, Wike should be reminded that such unguarded and incendiary comments are capable of rupturing the existing good relationship with the Ikwerres, and his kinsmen are advised to call him to order.
“Wike has forgotten that by calling fire and thunder on the Ijaw nation, his benefactor and our revered leader, former President Goodluck Jonathan, is an illustrious Ijaw son. This “thunder” did not fire the former president when, despite all odds, he made him the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State against the wishes of other competent Ijaw aspirants in the state.
“Now, Jonathan as an Ijaw man, is also under fire from Governor Wike. For him, all those that made him, including the people of Rivers State, are in his pocket and can be insulted at will.
“We, therefore, call on our people as a whole to see Governor Wike as an enemy of the Ijaw nation. We urge Ijaws all over the world to speak against this tyrannical behaviour of Wike. We also call on our Ijaw brothers that are delegates in his party not to cast their votes for him during the presidential primaries as this will be viewed as betrayal of our heritage. Suffice it to say that if a governor can cast aspersion on an entire ethnic nationality, what would become of him as president of the most populous black nation on the planet?”
Wike had at a church programme in Port Harcourt, while responding to an ultimatum given to his government to release Dagogo, dared the Ijaw council to do their worst, warning them that they did not know whom they were dealing with.
Rounding off his speech, Wike had said, “Thunder fire them and their ultimatum.”