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Niger Delta

Ijaws in Ondo condemn killing of Ilaje indigenes by pirates in Bayelsa



•Fault incisive comments by llaje leaders

•Say Ijaws in Ondo are not at war with their Ilaje neighbours

By Timi Black
Chief Correspondent

The National Body of Arogbo Ijaw Youth Network (AIYN) has vehemently condemned the illicit and unwarranted killing of innocent and Law abiding Ilaje citizens in Twon-Brass, Bayelsa state by suspected sea- pirates.

The statement was contained in a press release signed by Comrade Fiyebo G Eperetei
Nationals Coordinator and Comrade Samson O.Ajagbini
National Secretary which was sent to Congress newspaper on Saturday.

The group in a statement titled:”THE IJAWS IN ONDO STATE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH OUR ILAJE NEIGHBOURS” Sympathized with the ILaje neighbours, most especially the deceased families and the entire ILaje Nation in Ondo State over the ill-fated incident which was orchestrated by unrepentant sea-pirates in Bayelsa state.

The group said: “We, the national body of Arogbo Ijaw Youth Network (AIYN) vehemently condemn, first and foremost the illicit and unwarranted Killing of Innocent and Law abiding Ilaje citizens in Twon-Brass, Bayelsa state by suspected sea- pirates.

“Secondly, we wholeheartedly sympathize with our ILaje neighbours, most especially the deceased families and the entire ILaje Nation in Ondo State.

The Ijaws in Ondo appealed with the Bayelsa state Government to put in place investigative parameters as a matter of urgency, in order to unearth and bring to book the culprit of this dastardly act.

The statement read partly: “We also call on the Nigerian Navy and Police Force to double efforts of and intensify their efforts in safeguarding the nocks and crannies of the Niger Delta Area. They should fish these sea pirates tormenting people that are going about their legal businesses, but not only focusing on collecting bribe from oil dealers in the region.

“The Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army and Police Force should not jettison their primary and constitutional duties of protecting lives and property of citizens in the volatile Niger Delta, while chasing oil dealers in the region.

“We want to state without mincing words that these unholy occurrences are becoming horrendous in our region and are capable of provoking ethnic crisis between neighbouring ethnic Nationalities, because security agencies are abandoning their primary responsibilities.

“Having said that, though we, (AIYN) and any other person has not confirmed the whereabouts of those sea pirates or where they are from, we also urge the Ondo state Government to liaise with her Bayelsa state counterpart to assiduously and harmoniously work together to facilitate the arrest of whosoever that is involved in this evil act, should they be found in the riverine area of Ondo state, as they may decide to escape through any river route, including the state in which Ijaws and Ilajes are close neighbours.

“Nevertheless, it is very sad and inappropriate for the ILaje Leadership Forum, (Citizens Security Council), in a Press statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Prince Emorioloye Owolemi to jump into conclusion that the sea pirates are from Arogbo Kingdom, and making statements that can incite his ILaje people to delve into crisis against the innocent Ijaws in Ondo State.

“Until security agents confirm arrests and identity of the Communities of the perpetrators, no one can say they hail from a particular state.

“On that note, AIYN is sincerely advising that the ILaje Leadership Forum should retract and stop their incisive commentaries, and look towards the way of a continuous peaceful co-existence between the Ilajes and Arogbos in Ondo State.

“Having said that, the leadership of (AIYN), is using this medium to commend Chief Olusola Oke (SAN) for his prompt intervention, by standing for the Truth and correcting the Ilaje Leadership Forum, making them understand that the incident in Bayelsa is as a result of the level of insecurity in the waterways of that State.

“Therefore, Prince Owolomi’s hasty inciting comments which can led to an uncontrollable crisis between the Arogbo-Ijaws and Ilajes, are totally unnecessary and uncalled for.

“Consequently, we are also categorically saying that sea piracy is friend to no one, that the acts of sea piracy also affects everybody adversely irrespective of tribes any time the perpetrator of the inimical act carried out their evil activities. So, let us unanimously condemn this evil act. The Ijaws in Arogbo cannot afford crisis with our Ilaje- counterparts again in Ondo state, because there is no benefit of fighting each other, rather than retrogression and under-development” the group asserted.