Ijaw Foundation

IJAW SOLIDARITY,
POWER, LIBERTY,
PEACE AND PROGRESS
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IJAW FOUNDATION
IJAW SOLIDARITY, POWER, LIBERTY, PEACE AND PROGRESS 
IZON EBE SERI KENI WENIMO











DR.EBIPAMONE N. NANAKUMO,

ThePresident and members of

TheBoard of Directors of the Ijaw Foundation

And all Ijaws in the Diaspora


Our Kith and Kin inDiaspora,

You have made your lives sublime in our hearts with your message of hope and a future for a people in plenty who languish in penury. Thank you for your very thought of us, expressed in such scholarly work and with the passion of your conviction.

I wish to inform you that your message has had the desired effect. We have almost lost our dignity and the will to fight. Thank God for your lives! It is such a tonic to realize one is not alone.

Your ambassador to us, Dr. Abiotona Sokari was simply fantastic and was at his best during the Senate presentation. The fight has just begun.

It is a fight that would need money, serious lobbying and above all propaganda—local, national and international. You know the Ijaws want 4 states.

Please keep in touch and follow closely.

Yours very sincerely,


Alabo Dr. Charles I.T. Numbere,(JP)

For and on behalf of the

Kings, Chiefs and Peoples of Minji-Se.

 





 

March 9, 2009

 

 

Dr. Atuboyedia Obianime

President, Ijaw National Congress (INC)

 

 

 

RESOLUTION FOR A BILL FOR THE CREATION OF BENI-EBE, TORU-EBE, MINJI-SE AND ABAJI STATES AND THE CREATION OF THIRTY-THREE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS FOR BAYELSA STATE

 

 

 

Ijaw Foundation, a platform for collective action by all Ijaws and all Ijaw organizations in the Diaspora and the Ijaw homeland, hereby congratulates you on your recent election as the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC). We similarly congratulate all the other newly elected members of the National Executive Committee of Ijaw National Congress (INC).

 

Pursuant to our recent consultative sessions with you by telephone, Ijaw Foundation is hereby pleased to forward the Final Draft of the Resolution for the Creation of four more Ijaw States and thirty-three Local Government Areas for Bayelsa State to you. We are extremely grateful to you for engaging us so constructively to advance the agenda for the creation of more Ijaw States.

 

Ijaw Foundation formally commissioned its Special Affairs Committee on Saturday December 15, 2007. The Special affairs Committee is one of the important facets of our framework for concerted and result-oriented action to address the ruthless oppression, strangulating economic exploitation, unconscionable environmental pollution, terrible ecological destruction and continual heinous genocide that our Ijaw people suffer in Nigeria.

 

We need concerted action to secure the rights of our Ijaw people regarding Self Determination, Resource Control and Environmental Protection. This has become imperative in view of the great need to actualize the creation of more homogenous Ijaw States in the Nigerian Federation. The much-needed new homogenous Ijaw States will never be created if we only ask for them! Concerted, focused, determined and decisive advocacy and actions are needed on our part to achieve this important objective. Above all, the continual unconscionable genocide being perpetrated against our people calls for urgent action.

 

The immediate focus of the Special Affairs Committee is to actualize the agenda for the creation of more homogenous Ijaw States as well as to obtain legal redress for the heinous genocides and unconscionable environmental destruction that have been perpetrated against the Ijaws by the Nigerian State.

 

The distinguished members of the Special Affairs Committee are as follows:

 

1.         Dr. Abio Sokari (Chair)

2.         Prof. So-ngo Clifford Teme (Co-Chair)

3.         Mr. Preye Dorgu (Secretary)

4.         Ms. Annkio Briggs (Co-Secretary)

5.         Mr. Patterson Ogon

6.         Tekena Barango-Tariah, Esq.

7.         Patience Douglas, Esq.

8.         Mr. Joseph Opigo

9.         Dr. Monibo Sam

10.       Mrs. Victoria Ebiere Gold-Eke

11.       Mr. Stephen Benstowe

12.       Dr. Pamo Igali

13.       Dr. Aaron Nmungwun

14.       Mr. Pius Donyegha

15.       Mr. Presidor Ghomorai

16.       Evangel Hon. Foster Ogola

17.       Mr. Francis Udisi

18.       Mr. Wilfred Inko-Tariah

19.       Prof. Joseph Ebiware

20.       Mr. Benaebi Benatari

21.       Dr. Chris Ekiyor

22.       Mr. Anthony Otokito

23.       Prof. Geoffrey Ibim

24.       Chief Mpaka Princewill

25.       Dr. Orikaye Brown-West

26.       Prof. Victor Kiri

27.       Mr. Dagogo Karibi-Whyte

28.       Prof. David Iyegha

29.       Mr. Suku Harry

30.       Ms. Beena Youdowei

31.       Mr. Lovedale Peterside

32.       Mr. Peter Edu

33.       Mr. Nathan Aguru

34.       Mr. Wesley George

35.       Dr. Kalada Dick Iruenabere

36.       Mr. Titoe Miriki

37.       Ms. Ebimiere Irene Toyo

38.       Mr. Denzil Amagbe Kentebe

39.       Dr. May Banigo

40.       Honorary members: All Ijaw Senators and Representatives in the Nigerian National Assembly.


 

All Ijaw Senators and Representatives in the Nigerian National Assembly have been appointed as honorary members of the Special Affairs Committee.

 

The terms of reference for the Special Affairs Committee are outlined as follows:

 

(1) To assist the Foundation’s Legal Counsel to provide legal advice to the Foundation whenever the need arises.

 

(2) To develop and implement well-structured  and effective mechanisms, by the instrumentality of the INC, IYC, ICHR, FNDIC, IRA, other non-governmental organizations, Ijaw Traditional Rulers, and other Ijaw Traditional Institutions, to mediate to peacefully resolve, as well as prevent, intra-communal, intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic disputes involving the Ijaws.

 

(3) To help assemble appropriate Legal Teams to obtain redress for the Ijaw Nation or individual Ijaw Communities whenever our socioeconomic, political, environmental and fundamental human rights are violated.

 

(4) To consult with Quantity Surveyors, Estate Valuers and other relevant professionals to formulate Compensation Rates Oil Companies must pay for damages done by oil prospecting activities and oil spills to our farmlands, fisheries, streams, canals, swamps, rivers and real estate. For instance, the Compensation Rate for damages done to farmlands could be $250.00 per square foot.

 

(5) To formulate an Annual Compensation Rate payable by the oil companies and the Federal government of Nigeria to the Ijaws and other Niger Deltans for the health hazards of gas flaring; to provide healthcare for the Ijaws and other Niger Deltans until gas flaring is completely stopped.

 

(6) To draft and facilitate legislation that defends and promotes justice, equity, human rights, self determination, true federalism, resource control and environmental protection in Nigeria. Specifically, the Special Affairs Committee shall be responsible for the drafting of legislations (bills), and presentation of same to the Nigerian National Assembly and Presidency, to enact the creation of additional more homogenous Ijaw States, enthronement of true federalism and Resource Control as well as environmental protection measures and adequate compensation for environmental and ecological damages caused by oil prospecting activities, oil spills and gas flaring.

 

(7) To identify, streamline and harmonize all agitations for the creation of additional homogenous Ijaw States and work with the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and all Ijaw State Creation Committees to implement a unified agenda for the creation of more homogenous Ijaw States.


 (8) Develop plans and strategies to combat the scourge of corruption, moral
 decadence, lawlessness, endemic kidnappings, mayhem and anarchy in Ijawland.

 

We are gratified that the Special Affairs Committee has completed the drafting of the Resolution for the Creation of four more Ijaw States and thirty-three Local Government Areas for Bayelsa State. The said Resolution is attached. The Ijaw Leaders and Elders Forum headed by Chief E. K. Clark, with Dr. Monday P. Okonny as National Secretary, has endorsed and hailed the Resolution as “well thought out, excellently articulated, and very detailed advocacy for the creation of political space for the Ijaw Nation.”

 

We are profoundly grateful to our illustrious and patriotic Ijaw son, Prof. Chris Ikporukpo, Vice Chancellor of the Niger Delta University and Professor of Geography at the University of Ibadan, for producing the map for our proposed four new Ijaw States and Bayelsa State despite his extremely busy schedule.

 

As you might be already aware, we are extremely gratified that a high-powered delegation of representatives of our Minji Se State, led by chiefs representing the Amanyanabos and Paramount Rulers of the Kalabari, Kula, Bile, Abua and Odual people, elder statesmen and community leaders, and Dr. Abiotona Sokari, very successfully presented our Demand for the Creation of the Minji Se State to the Senate President of Nigeria, Gen (Rtd) David Mark on January 26, 2009! Our Agenda for the Creation of four more homogenous Ijaw States is progressively gathering momentum as plans to present the Demands for the creation of the other three new Ijaw States to the Senate President/the National Assembly and Presidency are intensifying.

 

This is an historic time for the Ijaw Nation. Today, the Ijaw Nation faces very serious and formidable political, social, economic, cultural and environmental challenges. Our survival as a people is seriously threatened by the relentless ruthless oppression we have suffered for fifty years, and continue to suffer, at the hands of the ungrateful and dysfunctional Nigerian State that paradoxically depends on our oil and gas wealth for its own survival. The threat of extermination ever looms in our horizon, as we suffer continual heinous genocides being perpetrated by an occupying military force of the Nigerian State that kills our Ijaw people with impunity.

 

 

 

The challenges the Ijaws face are extremely formidable, and our predicament is extremely precarious. Let all hands be on deck! Let us be united in the alliance to save and uplift the Ijaw Nation!! Let us all work together to actualize the momentous agenda for the creation of four more Ijaw States!

 

 

Ijaw Foundation thanks and commends you for your selfless efforts to advance the security, welfare and progress of the Ijaw Nation. We look forward to working with you, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and all Ijaws to actualize the Agenda for the Creation of four more homogenous Ijaw States as well as to obtain legal redress for the heinous genocides that have been perpetrated against the Ijaws by the Nigerian State.

 

Yours in the service of the Ijaw Nation,
 

Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo

President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

 

Dr. Abio Sokari

Chair, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

 

 

549 LEFFERTS AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11225, USA* Phone & Fax: (718) 778-0536*

Website: www.ijawfoundation.org, Email: board_of_directors@ijawfoundation.org

 

Ijaw Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization with Section 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status granted by the United States Internal Revenue Service.






November 12, 2008

 

 

Senator David Mark

President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

National Assembly Complex
P. M. B. 141, Abuja, Nigeria

 

 

Dear Senate President,

 

 

Letter of introduction

 

Ijaw Foundation is a platform for collective action by all Ijaws and Ijaw organizations in the Diaspora and the Ijaw homeland; established to raise the much-needed funds for the dire humanitarian, developmental and ecological needs of our fifteen (15) million Ijaw people, who are amongst the world's most impoverished peoples despite their abundant God-given wealth of crude oil, natural gas, aquatic resources and forestry resources. Essentially, Ijaw Foundation seeks to mobilize the vast human and material resources of the Ijaw Nation and all people of goodwill in the world to ensure the survival, security, welfare and progress of the Ijaws. The Foundation is all-inclusive, non-partisan, open, democratic and transparent.

 

The bearer of this letter, Abiotona Sokari, MD, PhD, is the Chairman of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee, which has direct responsibility for the Agenda for the Creation of more Ijaw States in the Nigerian Federation. He is hereby sent by Ijaw Foundation as an advocate and spokesperson for the creation of four more Ijaw States, specifically, Abaji, Beni-Ebe, Kengema, and Toru-Ebe States. We unanimously and strongly believe that the creation of these Ijaw States will solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta.

 

We are extremely grateful to you for giving Dr. Abiotona Sokari your valued audience in this regard as well as for offering your wholehearted support for the Agenda for the creation of the said four Ijaw States.

 

God bless you and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo

President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Patterson Ogon

Vice President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Lincoln B. Snithers

Secretary, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Signed on behalf of the Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors:

 

Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo

President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

 

549 LEFFERTS AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11225, USA* Phone & Fax: (718) 778-0536*

Website: www.ijawfoundation.org, Email: board_of_directors@ijawfoundation.org

 

 

Ijaw Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization with Section 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status granted by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

 

 


IJAW FOUNDATION

IJAW SOLIDARITY, POWER, LIBERTY, PEACE AND PROGRESS 

IZON EBE SERI KENI WENIMO





October 12, 2008

 

 

His Royal Majesty King J. I. Igbagara,

Ibenanaowei of Ibeni-Oyiakiri

 

 

TO OUR ROYAL FATHERS AT HOME

 

RE: AGENDA FOR THE CREATION OF FOUR MORE IJAW STATES

 

 

Dear Royal Father:

 

 

Your citizens in the Diaspora and the Ijaw homeland, under the auspices of Ijaw Foundation, have been working on the creation of more Ijaw states in the Niger Delta, specifically, Abaji, Beni-Ebe, Kengema, and Toru-Ebe states. They agree to a person that the creation of these states in the Niger Delta will solve the current crisis in Nigeria.

 

As a Royal father who rules and reigns over this crisis ridden and near decadent area of our beloved country, you must be aware of the anger of your citizens, and certain that the demand that their God-given land which flows with the abundant resources that now provide more than 90 percent of the revenues of Nigeria, is not only protected against the vagaries of exploitation, but preserved for eternity through responsible exploration, environmental sanity, and judicial equity.

 

The prevailing pervasive Ijaw Youth Restiveness and Insurgency are compelled and propelled by the imperative for survival and self-defense, in the Spirit of Isaac Adaka Boro, against the political subjugation and relentless ruthless oppression of the Ijaw people, unbridled plundering of their oil and gas resources, wanton destruction of their habitat and means of subsistence, their utter neglect and deprivation, atrocious violation of their basic human rights and dignity, continual heinous genocides perpetrated by an occupying military force of the Nigerian State that kills Ijaws with impunity, and resultant abominable squalor, hopelessness, despair and anarchy.

 

Your majesty, the time is now for you and all your citizens to rally around this state creation movement for the benefit of your people and a legacy for Ijaw children yet unborn. The following reasons and rationalizations provide numerous benefits that can accrue to the entire Niger Delta in general and Ijawland in particular, if more Ijaw states are created:

 

1.     The creation of more Ijaw states will result in the reduction of ethnic tension in Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ondo and Rivers States; and de-escalate the conflict since the challenges of development and economic and financial results accruing from the new states will keep us occupied for the rest of our lives. Importantly, by virtue of the measure of Political Autonomy and Self-determination so granted the Ijaws, the creation of the additional Ijaw States, would significantly ameliorate the grievous oppression and marginalization of the Ijaws, and thereby assuage their just anger, with resultant significant and progressive de-escalation of the prevailing Ijaw Youth Restiveness and Insurgency, leading ultimately to the peaceful resolution of the intractable and escalating Niger Delta Crisis, which will pave the way for, and usher in, the much-desired but very elusive era of peace, progress and prosperity in Nigeria.

 

2.     The creation of more Ijaw states will translate into more opportunities for our Ijaw people to share the Ijaw oil wealth, the predominant source of revenue in the Federation Account of Nigeria. Currently, we Ijaws have only one share while the other major ethnic groups have numerous shares due to the number of the states they have. 

 

3.     The creation of more Ijaw states will lead to the rapid development of four more Ijaw towns, which as political capitals of the new states will have all the trimmings befitting a state capital. 

 

4.      The creation of more Ijaw states will empower us to set up four state governments, and thus create opportunities for education and training, economic and financial development, health and social welfare, and employment.

 

5.     The creation of more Ijaw states will remove the existing marginalization and political, economic, educational, and financial deprivation in those states we are being made irrelevant.

 

6.     Indeed, the creation of more Ijaw states will allow for not only simultaneous but coordinated infrastructural development of Ijaw land across the board. 

 

7.      The creation of more Ijaw states would enable the Ijaws to have more representation at the National Assembly, thereby enabling the formation of a formidable voting bloc to influence national decisions, especially those that affect Ijaws and the Niger Delta.

 

8.     The creation of more Ijaw states will result in the establishment of more Ijaw local government authorities. More local government authorities translate into more allocation from the oil wealth.

 

9.     The creation of more Ijaw states will also increase the level of Ijaw employment at the federal level as the Federal Government sets up governmental branches in the new states.

 

10. The creation of more Ijaw states will not only lead to a balanced development of all the ethnic nationalities in the South-South geo-political zone, but in all of Nigeria. Currently, the Yorubas have six (6) states; the Igbos have five (5); the Hausa/Fulanis have nineteen (19) with a Federal Capital Territory to boot, while the Ijaws (the fourth largest ethnic nationality) has only ONE (1) state to show for its support of a one Nigeria. 

 

 

11. Finally, the creation of more Ijaw states will, to a large extent, fulfill the aspirations of the Willink Commission Report of 1958, which recommended that the Ijaw Nation territory of the Niger Delta be declared a “SPECIAL AREA” by the British Government. Fifty years after, it becomes your duty as a royal father to request from the Nigerian government what your forefathers were denied.

 

Our Royal father, you see from the above that the benefits that will accrue from the creation of more Ijaw states are as thought-provoking as they are endless. We as a people should not forget that our ancestors were pioneers in the demand for internal self government and the creation of states in Nigeria. Despite the historical reality, we were the last to receive a state. 

 

We urge you to tell it to your people, your local government chairmen and council members; spread it among your assemblymen, representatives and senators; let your school children and market women sing about it; and the church congregation and preachers cry about it from the pews and pulpits. Let the message and the clarion call be: that the more states WE have, the MORE DEVELOPMENT MONEY we will get from the Federation Account; and the MORE states WE get, the more opportunities WE have to partake in the wealth accruing from OUR God-given mineral resources.

 

Indeed, as the saying “opportunity knocks but once” goes, our opportunity is knocking right now. Through the grace of the Almighty and the great heritage of our ancestors, we currently have a son at the center of national power. This is our opportunity. If we fail to utilize the opportunity we have now to get the number of Ijaw states we need to have, there may not be a next time in our lifetime, and we and our forebears will continue to wallow in an opportunity lost, a paradise so close but never to be regained. Help avoid the mockery of our neighbours who seeing our disunity or fanning our divisiveness, would say that “the Ijaws do not know what they want or cannot make up their minds”. This is our moment and our time; help us make use of this opportunity to have more states created in Ijawland.

 

Royal Father, please note that the wave for creation of more states is in a feverish pitch as other ethnic groups are scrambling to create more states in their ethnic areas although they already have more than we have. They have tasted the spoils and are eager for more. Can we see now what they saw years back; can we continue to accept the rights so callously denied us as a people years back and even today; and gnash our teeth two, four, or ten years from now and say to our children we did not know how to seize the golden opportunity to uplift our oppressed and suffering people and secure a bright and prosperous future for them?

 

Yes, for those who are committed to the development of Ijawland, the demand for the creation of more Ijaw states should be a paramount duty at this time and moment. This is indeed our opportunity, our moment, our time.

 

God bless our Ijaw Heritage.

 

Sincerely:

 

Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo: President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Patterson Ogon: Vice President, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Lincoln B. Snithers

Secretary, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Dawari Longjohn: Treasurer, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors/President, Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas

 

Mr. Benaebi Benatari: Member, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Mr. Amabo MacHarry: Member, Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors

 

Dr. Abiotona Sokari: Chairman, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

 

Prof. Orikaye G. Brown-West, Ph.D., P.E.

Member of the Ijaw Foundation Media and International Relations Committee and the State Creation Subcommittee

 

Dr. Priye Torulagha: Member, Ijaw Foundation Media and International Relations Committee, Ijaw Foundation Research Committee and Ijaw Foundation Bylaws Committee; Secretary Concerned Bayelsans USA

 

Prof. David Iyegha: Member, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee and member of the State Creation & Research Subcommittees

 

Dr. Aaron Nmungwun: Founding Vice President of Ijaw Foundation & member of the State Creation Subcommittee of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

 

Prof. Joseph Ebiware: Vice President of the Ijaw National Alliance of the Americas (INAA), member of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee & Chair of the Anti-corruption Committee

 

Ms. Patience Douglas: Member of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

and Co-Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee

 

Prof. Victor Kiri: Member, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee and member of the State Creation Subcommittee

 

Prof. Geoffrey Ibim: Chair, Ijaw Foundation Media and International Relations Committee and member of the State Creation Subcommittee

 

Mr. Wilfred Inko-Tariah: Member, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee, Co-Chair of the Anti-corruption Subcommittee and member of the Legal Affairs Subcommittee

 

Ms. Beena Youdowei: Member of the State Creation Subcommittee of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

 

Chief Mpaka Princewill: Chairman, Niger Delta World Congress

 

Amasenibo Stephen Benstowe: Member, Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee and member of the State Creation Subcommittee

 

Mr. Lovedale Peterside: Member of the State Creation Subcommittee of the Ijaw Foundation Special Affairs Committee

 

 

 

 

549 LEFFERTS AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11225, USA* Phone & Fax: (718) 778-0536*

Website: www.ijawfoundation.org, Email: board_of_directors@ijawfoundation.org

 

 

Ijaw Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization with Section 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status granted by the United States Internal Revenue Service.