Former Inspector-General of Police and erstwhile Chairman Police Service Commission (PSc) Sir Mike Okiro has alleged that his ethnic nationality, Egbema, is being marginalised and relegated to the background.
Okiro, who is the national leader of Ogbakor Egbema Alinso, urged the Federal Government to create a local government to include all oil-producing communities of Egbema in Rivers and Imo states.
He said creating the council would 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 set 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 lamented that the ethnic group remained a minority in two local governments in Imo and Rivers states.
Wokocha Raymond, former chairman of ONELGA, said: “Egbema is a very important segment in Nigeria. We have contributed a lot to the Nigerian economy, yet we have nothing to show for it.
“Despite the number of oil wells we have, we have not produced a representative in the NDDC. We have been denied even appointment into the executive council (exco).””