Group raises alarm over looming Ijaw, Itsekiri war over attacks

By Fegor Oghene, Asaba 

A pressure group, the Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group has warned that the position of Itsekiri groups and leaders over the recent attacks on oil installations in the Warri Area of Delta State could lead to a fresh war between the two ethnic nationalities.While denying claims that Ijaws are behind the rampaging militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, WIPMG urged the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, to caution his subjects in order to avert a fresh ethnic war. 

“The Itsekiri Monarch, Ikenwoli should do well to caution his subjects as the attitude of some of his subjects is so provocative in recent time that it may lead to another Warri crisis. If he cannot call such rampaging subjects to order in the public, then it will be construed to mean that he is behind them, and this will not do us good.

 

“We are aware that the Itsekiris are ready to fight the Ijaws of Warri with their statements and actions as regards the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers.”

WIPMG said the claims by numerous Itsekiri group, including the Niger Delta Movement for Social Economy Inclusion to the effect that the attacks on oil facilities in parts of Delta State by the Niger Delta Avengers is been carried out by Ijaw sponsors was not true.

 

The Itsekiris group, NDMSEI said the Ijaws were deliberately obliterating their communities through the Avengers, stressing that none of the attacks have taken place in Ijaw.

 

However, Chief Patrick Bigha, Chairman of the WIPMG described the claim as “provocative and inciting”.

 

He said, “The allegation by the Itsekiri people that the attacks are been sponsored by Ijaw people are false and deliberately made to malign the Ijaw people in furtherance of the Itsekiri aged long hatred against Ijaw people.

“The Itsekiri people are deliberately inciting the Federal Government against the Ijaw people so that government would bomb and kill innocent Ijaw people and communities. 

“We wish to state clearly that the Ijaw people have no business or connection with the Niger Delta Avengers. This position has consistently been stated by different Ijaw groups and personalities. 

“It is not true as claimed by the Itsekiri people that the attacks are been carried out in Itsekiri territory. The obvious truth is that the Ijaw people of Warri especially Gbaramatu, Egbema, Ogbe-Ijoh, Diebiri Clans and the Ijaws of Ogulagha in Burutu Local Government Area are the greatest victims of the Avengers attacks. Nearly all the attacks have taken place within Ijaw territories. The Itsekiri claim to territory is baseless,” Bigha added.

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