Tension is once again rising between Ijaw and Itsekiri tribes in Delta
State as a result of the bombing campaign of the Niger Delta Avengers
Specifically, an Itsekiri Chief, Emami Ayiri, has repeatedly accused his
Ijaw brothers of being the masterminds of the unabated bombings of oil and
gas facilities in the region, urging the federal government not to
negotiate with the militants.
But an Ijaw chief, Patrick Bigha has advised the Warri Monarch, Ikenwoli 1
to caution his subjects “as the attitudes of some of his subjects are so
provocative in recent times that it may lead to another Warri crisis.’’
” Some Itsekiri people such as Ayiri Emami’s wish is that the Ijaw people
especially those from Warri should not live. That is why Ayiri Emami want
Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) dead at all cost. Some Itsekiris
have pathological hatred for Ijaws. Government must not allow their
agencies and officers to carry out an ethnic agenda by Itsekiris against
Ijaw people’’, he said.
He added:‘’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 any good. We are aware that the Itsekiris are ready to
fight the Ijaws of Warri with their statements and actions as regard the
activities of the Niger Delta Avengers.’’
He has equally refuted allegations by the Itsekiri people that the attacks
being carried out by rampaging militants are being sponsored by them,
describing the allegations as false and deliberately made to malign the
Ijaw people in furtherance of the Itsekiri aged long hatred against them.
Chief Bigha who is the Chairman, Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group
(WIPMG), while reacting to the allegations against the Ijaw people in
Warri, advised his kinsmen to shun provocative and inciting statements for
the sake of peace.
His words:”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” he
wrote in a statement.
“The Itsekiri claim is an elongation of their land grabbing nature. It is
shocking and shameful that the Itsekiri people even persist in their land
grabbing attitude even in matters of attack on oil facilities and