The kinsmen of a former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, have alleged that it was Ibori’s clamour for fiscal federalism to enable the people of the Niger Delta region to control their resources that led to his incarceration in a British jail.
The allegation is contained in an 11-point communiqué issued at the end of the Oghara 2016 Summit held in Asaba, the state capital, on Thursday.
They lauded the former governor for his foresight in developing the state.
The communiqué was signed by an elder brother to the former governor and the Unugbrogodo of Ogharefe, Chief Williams Ibori; the Unugbrogodo of Oghareki, Chief Williams Usabor; and the Chairman of the summit, Chief Emmanuel Ighomena.
It decried the continued neglect of the Oghara Independent Power Plant.
In the communiqué, the people of Oghara Kingdom in the Ethiope West Council Area of the state also lauded Ibori, who was a governor from 1999 to 2007, for laying the foundation for the state development.
The communiqué read, “Despite his good works for which he was lauded by all and sundry, the travails of our son, Chief Ibori, is mainly the fallout of his unrelenting stand and clamour for fiscal federalism through the control of resources of the Niger Delta by her people. We therefore unequivocally call for his immediate and unconditional release by the British government.”
It called on the current administration in the state to expedite action towards ensuring that the abandoned IPP project was concluded, saying it had the capacity to produce 138 megawatts of electricity on completion.
The summit, which was attended by indigenes of Oghara Kingdom in the Ethiope West Council Area of the state, also adopted an economic framework for the development of the kingdom.
On the state of the Urhobo nation, the summit said, “Though the Urhobo Progress Union has made appreciable impact on the polity, the summit urges the umbrella body to put its house in order to strengthen the unity and progress of the entire Urhobo nation of which Oghara is an integral part.
“Also, the summit calls for the teaching of the Urhobo language at all levels of educational institutions in Urhoboland in order to forestall its extinction so that our children will understand, fluently speak and write the Urhobo language.”