* Apologise, IYC says to Wike

* Abe lauds Wike, urges Ogoni forgiveness 

There are increasing reactions to Governor Nyesom Wike’s Ogoni Day speech in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area in Rivers State.

While some are hailing the Governor for his blunt comments on the state of the Niger Delta region, others are claiming that he dropped a bombshell.

Given the wild cheers which came from the crowd, Wike appeared to be on point when he said current leaders of the Ogoni nation have ditched the foundation of the Ogoni struggle.

There were equally cheers, after the Governor accused Ogoni leaders of using their own people to get unto the fast lane to stupendous wealth.

Senator Magnus Abe who was absent during the occasion lauded Wike for speaking out.

He recalled Ken Saro Wiwa’s reference to the existence of a crab mentality among the Ogoni typified by a pull him down syndrome.

“For the Ogoni people, the real challenge after all said is “what can we do better or what can we do differently?”, Abe stated.

“I continue to appeal to everyone to think and act, there must be something each one of us can do to make things better…

“..we can all resolve not to take disagreements amongst us as leaders to the public arena, and we can also try to forgive one another when we are offended.

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“Rivers people are great people, we have long history of standing by one another, Ogoni day as always was a great opportunity to celebrate our unity and strength.

“I extend my appreciation to all other ethnic groups in the state who came to Bori to felicitate with the Ogoni people”, Abe added.

Particularly irked by Wike’s remark about ethnic differences in the region are  Ijaw activists who think he should not have made reference to what some people see as Ijaw attempts to dominate the region.

Eugene Spiff, a journalist told the Telegraph Thursday, “Your man (an apparent reference to Wike) has dropped a bombshell. In Bayelsa circles, there are sharp reactions.”

In Bayelsa, people are saying Wike had the effontery to chastise the Ijaw the way he did before the President of the Ijaw National Congress, Professor Benjamin Okaba.

Okaba was in Bori and on the podium at the time of the speech which is beginning to stir controversy in the polity.


Already, the IYC, the umbrella organization of Ijaw youths has asked Governor Wike to apologize for what it refers to as his anti-Ijaw remarks.

Although the Governor’s statement is being viewed in some circles as anti-Ijaw, Wike who was suing for unity among the Niger Delta people had said it was unfair for Ijaws to be reticent about the appointment of people of other ethnic nationalities within the region to the headship of the NDDC.

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He said the tendency to refer to others as people who are not core Niger Deltans was anthetical to unity, growth and progress.

The IYC statement which has gone viral however did not see anything positive in Wike’s remark.

It said the only thing that could assuage the feeling of Ijaw youths who are purportedly disturbed is Wike’s apology.

It is doubtful that Governor Wike or officials of the Rivers State Government would respond to the demand for an apology made by the IYC.

Wike apparently did not agree with the view that the federal government is completely responsible for short- changing the people of the region.

He rather blamed the people for their own marginalization, saying ethnic considerations as well as sharp division and greed were at the pinnacle of what is playing out.

This may be as a result of the nature of the politics of the region, the Telegraph reports.

Most times than not, the quest for appointments and elective positions result in commotion, a situation which in the past has accounted for certain developments that have pitched the people of the region against one another.

Wike in his speech had admitted that the people were not working together as a unit.

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“Hear me and hear me well”, Wike stressed in Bori, “The Governors are not working together; the Ministers are not working together.”

Now, for speaking out, the ethnic Ijaw appear to think differently about Wike’s intention towards them.