Itsekiri leader and rights activist, Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori-Ogbebor, on Tuesday lamented the plight of an average Itsekiri, declaring that her people were suffering, and, therefore, the need for accountability on the part those put in charge of Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC) in order to address the problem.
The Itsekiri leader made the call at a press conference in Lagos, even as recalled that the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli Emiko, had before now called for the reconstitution of the committee to ensure transparency and accountability in the running Chevron sponsored IRDC.
Lori-Ogbebor, while further lamenting the plight of an average Itsekiri, threw her weight behind the Olu of Warri’s declaration made about two years’ ago during coronation, that those in charge of running the affairs of IRDC should step down and allow fresh hands to manage the body.
She said Itsekiri land had become so inhabitable and the indigenes had to relocate out of the place for lack of development, schools, facilities, drinkable water, declaring that Itsekiri had gone down the drains due to poor handling by leaders and representatives, both elected and non-elected.
“I am sorry for being emotional, I am a mother it pains me, a lot of people are suffering today because they have no voice. Their problem is caused by people, that is the leaders, elected and non-elected that are representing them.
“These people have a lot of propaganda machinery. Today I have called you to this press conference because corruption is fighting back. About two years ago when Olu of Warri came to the throne, among the most popular speeches he made, the first is that all those people running IRDR should step down because they have been for too long and that we can have any serious development if they continue.”
The Itsekiri leader, while reiterating the call for accountability in the running of affairs of the IRDC, said the fight to get IRDC accountable was not her fight but all Itsekiri indigenes’ fight, their children and that of the throne currently occupied by Ogiame Emiko.
“The fight is not for Rita Lori-Ogbebor, it is for their children, the fight is for the throne. I am an old woman, the children must stand up to fight for themselves.
“To put faceless people together to write a petition that people are hungry, they should stop it. Itsekiris are not slaves to anybody, they are not under these selfish politicians,” she said.
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