Protesting groups stormed Asaba, the Delta State capital on Tuesday, to protest against the creation of political wards and imposition of Chairmanship candidates for the upcoming Local Government elections across the state.
The protest crippled business activities in Asaba as the protesters blocked all routes leading in and out of the city, causing a gridlock for hours.
A group of protesters from Ijaw ethnic nationality besieged the gate of the Government House over what they described as “political oppression by the current administration.
The over 100 protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions reading ‘Enough of this oppression’, ‘Okowa do thing right, give us our ward, Ijaw can not be intimidated’, Okowa don’t pull Ijaws to the wall,” among others, vowed to scuttle the forthcoming local government election if their demand was not made.
Speaking on the protest, their leader, Mr Friday Deinghan, said the government has marginalised the Ijaw people in Delta despite its huge economic contribution to the state and the nation at large.
He noted that in the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) created wards, Itsekiris has 10 wards, Urhobos have 9 while the Ijaws have none.
According to him, “We are Ijaws in Warri South Local government, recently the state created wards, Ijaws was neglected. We don’t have even one ward, but others have 10, 9 respectively.”
While addressing the protesters, the Commissioner for Urban and Rural Development, Mr Arthur Akpowowo and Commissioner for Power and Energy, Hon Basil Ganagana, applauded the peaceful conduct of the protesters, saying that their agitation was germane.
Ganagana said, “We are in EXCO Council meeting when information came that protests were going on at the gate and the EXCO who is the highest decision making body sent us to address you.
“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa went to important assignment, his next in command the Deputy governor is presiding the executive council meeting, so we urge you to be calm, we will take your massage to the EXCO in due time we will sent for 10 delegates to meet with the governor.”
The people of Aniocha South and Oshimili South local government areas of the state, also protested over the imposition of Council Chairman for the forthcoming coming election.
“We are here to inform the Governor the injustice, massive corruption, and evil imposition of a candidate in our LGA by Mrs Joan Onyemaech Mrakpor, in her desperate bid to have her brother installed by hook or crook,” the protesters said.
Over 15 local government areas in the state have so far protested the imposition of Council Chairman candidates within few days.