According to Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara, who is a true Ijaw son, the Opobo people in the state played a significant role in the history of the Ijaw struggle.
Fubara made this statement on Friday during a meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt, with the Regent and additional Kalabari Se Kobiri representatives.
Fubara refuted claims made in some places that he was not an Ijaw, claiming that people who made such claims were ignorant of the history of the struggle that elevated the Ijaw to a respectable social class.
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This was said in a statement made by Boniface Onyedi, the governor’s media assistant.
“So, whoever is feeding you with that information should go back to their history classes,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement. Talking about the Ijaw struggle would be incomplete without discussing the Opobo, Bonny, and Kalabari.
“You are a true Ijaw man if you are occupying a trade line; we had trade lines back then. For the record, I am an Ijaw man to the core of my being.
According to Fubara, Ijaw people are fearless, brave, and honest individuals who refused to give in to being sold as slaves during the slave trade in spite of being treated inhumanely.
He emphasized that his one core belief is that God’s will alone is ultimately what matters in all situations, whether they are favorable or unfavorable, successful or unsuccessful.
While offering the Kalabari people condolences for the passing of their monarch, the late King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, the governor also urged them to set aside their differences and cooperate in order to provide the late king with a dignified funeral.
Dr. Charles Princewill, the regent of Kalabari Kingdom, stated in his speech that they had come to Government House to formally invite the governor to the funeral of Theophilus J.T. Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of the Kalabari Kingdom, and to inform him of his passing.
He asked Fubara for more help and thanked her for the support they had already received.
Dr. Tammy Danagogo, the secretary to the Rivers State government, stated that Fujira had promised to give their late Amanyanabo a respectable funeral and had demonstrated a great deal of love for the Kalabari people.