We produce two-thirds of the country’s oil, You Don’t Hear Us Making Noise – According to Rita Lori-Ogbebor

We produce two-thirds of the country's oil, You Don't Hear Us Making Noise - According to Rita Lori-OgbeborRita Lori-Ogbebor, a Niger Delta activist, has been a strong voice in favor of the Itsekiri people’s rights and respect, emphasizing their important contributions to Nigeria’s oil production. The Itsekiris produce a significant amount of the nation’s oil, although they are frequently left out of and ignored in national debates. In order to correct this disparity and guarantee that the Itsekiris receive equitable benefits and representation, Lori-Ogbebor has been fighting in court for a long time.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>

Lori-Ogbebor’s activism stems from a deep-seated commitment to justice and equity for her people. The Itsekiris, who reside in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, have faced numerous challenges over the years, including issues of unfair administrative changes and misrepresentation. These changes have often led to legal battles to ensure adherence to the constitution and to safeguard their rights.

“We produce two-thirds of the country’s oil, you don’t hear us making noise,” Lori-Ogbebor emphasised, drawing attention to the significant yet understated role the Itsekiris play in Nigeria’s oil industry. “These legal wards have been created for them long ago. The only way we know best is to go to court. Our constitution clearly states that every ward all over the country has 10 wards in every local government. Warri local government, Warri Kingdom, has three local governments, each with 10 wards. The Ijaws and Urhobos have the same. This was in 1992. We enjoyed that privilege until 1996-1997 when a new body invented 12 wards.”

The persistent legal battles faced by the Itsekiris underscore their struggle for fair treatment. “The Itsekiris again went to court and said no, according to our constitution, 10 wards are what is stipulated for the three local governments and all the other wards in Delta State. Why do you select the Warri Kingdom, the Warri local government, and add more wards? To do that, we need a referendum. The Itsekiris have to be notified. The court then told them to go back to the federal constitution, which was in 1996-1997. They went back. Then in 2003, they were back again, smuggling that in,” Lori-Ogbebor explained.

Her unwavering dedication is evident as she recounts the numerous court cases aimed at preserving the rights of the Itsekiris. “We complained again. The court under Justice Amar told them they were wrong and should go back to the federal constitution. They undermined the law. To avoid problems and violence, we went back to court. They swore on oath they had been obeying the order. When they swore on oath, Justice Abang gave them 60 days to comply. They undermined us and the constitution. We have gone back to court because it is our only refuge. We are a small people but vital to that area. We own the land,” she asserted.

Lori-Ogbebor’s efforts highlight the importance of legal recourse in addressing injustices and ensuring that the voices of marginalised communities are heard. Her work serves as a reminder of the vital contributions of the Itsekiris and the need for equitable treatment and recognition within the broader national framework.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>