Urhobo youths in Delta State have rejected the renaming of Osubi International Airport to Alfred Diete Spiff International Airport by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The youths said that Buhari's action was taken deliberately to cause a crisis in Delta State in particular and the Niger Delta in general.
The president of the youth wing of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) worldwide, Comrade Duru Nixon Ufuoma condemned and completely rejected the renaming of Osubi International Airport.
In a statement on Tuesday, the youths suggested that the government should have renamed the airport after the Late Major General David Ejoor instead.
“Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff is from Bayelsa State, not Delta State and he is the Amayanabo (King) of Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State.
“He was the first Military Governor of Rivers State after it was created from part of the old Eastern Region which Delta state is never part of. Late Major General David Ejoor was the first military governor of the Midwestern Region, made up of the present Edo and Delta States.
“If not neglect, I see no reasons why the immediate past president of Nigeria should deliberately rename Osubi International Airport in Delta state after a man from Bayelsa state, while somebody like Late Major General David Ejoor who made history as one of the first Nigerian officer cadets to get Regular Commission into the Nigerian Army in the process of indigenizing the officer corps in the early 1950s was deliberately ignored.
“Late Major General David Ejoor sacrificed so much for the unity, peace and Progress of Nigeria. He spent all his life to serving Nigerians and Nigeria.
“Late Ejoor graduated from the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK, in 1956. On October 1, 1960, the then Captain David Ejoor had the historic fortune of commanding the Army Guard at the dawn of independence.
“Following his performance as a member of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in the Congo from December 1960 to July 1961, he was promoted to the rank of Major because, he was credited with designing the Nigerian Army cap, badge and rank insignias.
“He was later promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the Army Battalion in Enugu at the time of Nigeria’s first military coup on January 15, 1966, during which he helped to foil the coup that almost took his life and the lives of his family then.
“Ejoor was appointed Military Governor of the Midwest Region and member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the country’s highest ruling body from January 1966 – August 1967. He became the first Nigerian Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in January 1969 – January 1971, and rose to become the Chief of Army Staff, from January 1971 – July 1975.
“Ejoor, a fervent federalist, survived several assassination attempts during the Nigerian civil war. Several versions report how he fled from his base in Benin, the capital of the Midwest Region, following an invasion by the secessionist army.
“David Ejoor’s commitment to the unity of Nigeria was never in doubt, he drafted a defence policy for Nigeria, an indication of the respect accorded him by the military. He earned two Nigerian national honours, Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON.
“Late Major General David Ejoor was a man of peace and unquestionable diligence and professionalism whose death is a great loss to Urhobo people and Nigerians general. He lived an impactful life and contributed immensely to Nigeria and he etched his name in gold in the country’s history.
“Therefore, we all have a collective duty to keep alive his patriotic duty for a peaceful and secure country.
“For the sake of peace and unity, we, the Urhobo youth are calling on the concerned authorities, it’s better to rename Osubi International Airport as David Ejoor International Airport who is a Deltan, and rename Bayelsa International Airport as Diete Spiff International Airport who is a Bayelsan," the statement read in part.
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