Former Inspector General of Police and former Chairman Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, has alleged that his ethnic nationality, Egbema, was being marginalised and relegated in the scheme of things.
Okiro, who is the National Leader of Ogbakor Egbema Alinso, appealed to the federal government to create a local government to include all the oil producing communities of Egbema in Rivers and Imo States.
He said the LGA which could be included in Imo or Rivers State, would help to allow the oil producing people of Egbema to have a voice and representations on national issues.
Okiro said: “Egbema needs to be united. Unfortunately, Egbema is divided into two, Egbema in Rivers and Egbema in Imo State. These two sets of people are the same. The same language, the same culture. Egbema has 16 towns, 13 are in Imo State, while three are in Rivers State.
“We were all originally in Rivers under the Old Ahoada division before they created part of it into Oguta division. Oguta was a district council, but later became a division. We are one”.
He noted that the ethnic group was minority in two different LGAs in Imo and Rivers States, calling for creation of local government council for the 16 communities of Egbema.
Okiro said: “In Rivers State, we are under Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA and in Imo State, we are under Egbema/Ohaji LGA. In the two states, Egbema is in the minority.
“We want a local government. Egbema is big enough to be a local government. Imo State will not allow Egbema people to go because we have oil. The 13% they are enjoying comes from Egbema.
“I want Egbema to be a local government, whether in Rivers State or Imo State. It does not matter, so far as it is in Nigeria, so that they can talk and represent themselves”.
Also, former Chairman of ONELGA, Wokocha Raymond, said: “Egbema is a very important segment in Nigeria. We have contributed a lot to Nigeria economy. Yet, we have nothing to show for it.
“Despite the number of oil wells we have, we have not prduced a representative in NDDC before. We have been denied even appointment into state cabinet”.
Meanwhile, President of Ogbako Egbema, Ifi Igwebuike, said Egbema people need to be united and speak with one voice.