Ijaws in Ondo State have rejected the adoption of the Odua anthem by the state government.
The Ondo State Executive Council had last week approved the adoption of the Odua anthem to be sung after the National Anthem at official and public functions on grounds that the Odua anthem was meant to project the tradition and culture of the Yoruba tribe.
But the Ijaws have asked the state government to immediately put on hold the Odua anthem adoption and confer with Ijaw leaders to come up with the Ijaw version of the anthem if it must be sung in public places.
They described the action as highly provocative and very irritating, saying it portends a deliberate affront to the peace loving Ijaws of Ondo State and accused Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of running a government without recourse to the pluralistic nature of the State.
Hon. Success Torhukerhijo who represents Ese-Odo Constituency in the state House of Assembly said it was preposterous to adopt an anthem for the state in Yoruba language without thinking of the concerns of the Ijaws where the state has two ethnic nationalities- the majority Yoruba and the minority Ijaw.
In a statement issued in Akure, the lawmaker said it was a ploy to obliterate the Ijaws from the history of Ondo State and urged Governor Akeredolu to tow the path of his predecessors who he said created a Subordinate Area Council which enjoyed almost equal status with other Local Governments in the state in 1981.