Press statement by Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF), Ijaw Nation Forum (INF) and Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA)
15 December, 2019
We have watched with dismay a video clip showing the Governor of Rivers State HE Chief Nyesom Wike berating and denigrating the revered stool of The Amayanabo of Kalabari ; His Royal Highness King Theophilus J.T. Princewill with threats of removal over the visit of The Governor of Bayelsa State to the Kalabari Monarch.
Governor’s Wike’s threat to the Amayanabo of Kalabari is totally unacceptable, divisive and capable of causing unnecessary division and unnecessary tension in Rivers State.
This coalition: Ijaw Elders Forum Lagos, Ijaw Professionals as well as the Ijaw Nation Forum condemns in very strong terms this wanton disrespect of the respected traditional institution by a person of the status of Governor of Rivers State. We have absolute respect for constituted authority and expect persons in position of authority to reciprocate same. Belittling our elders and sacred traditional institutions is going beyond the realms of decency especially when it is aimed at a cheap political gain.
It is rather unbecoming of person holding a position of trust such as the office of Governor to talk in such disdainful manner to anyone, least of all one who occupies a Revered traditional institution. BE THEY IJAW, IKWERRE, OGONI or indeed anyone for that matter.
We would like to emphasize that the Monarch of Kalabari is occupying a well-respected traditional throne vested upon him by the ancestors of his kingdom and cannot be removed at the whims and caprices of the Governor.
We request that The Governor remedy this obvious mistake by issuing an apology to the monarch and the good people of the Ijaw Nation to correct this wrong done to our people.
Chief Atamuno A Atamuno (Vice-Chairman IEF)
Maj. Gen Paul Alaowei Toun (Rtd) (Chairman BoT IPA)
Engr Ben Amaebi Okoro (Moderator INF)