Ijaw, Itsekiri on War Path over Avengers

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okowaTension is once again rising between Ijaw and Itsekiri in Delta State as a result of the bombing campaign of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
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 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 frivolous.”

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