By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”IJAW National Congress (INC) president, Dr. Atuboye Obianime, yesterday lamented the huge loss of lives and property,Â particularly that of innocent and defenceless citizens,Â in the ongoing face-off between the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta and militants in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Speaking when the congress paid a visit to the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan in Warri, he said the JTF appeared to be carrying out genocide on the Ijaw people, considering the manner the security outfit was carrying out the offensive.
He, however, said the Ijaw ethnic nationality would resist further attempt to massacre its people and subsequently drench the legitimacy of the genuine struggle of emancipation by the people.
â€œThere is genocide on daily basis on the Ijaw as national Air Force, Navy and ground forces are being used against our people. Even Bakassi invasion with its toll on the Nigerian state did not attract such response and retaliationâ€, he asserted
He said Ijaw people do not believe in violence as a means of settling dispute and pleaded with the federal, state and local governments, as well as various organizations to assist the war victims by sending relief materials to them.
Responding, Governor Uduaghan said:Â Â â€œCurrently, we are dealing with the crisis in our own little way. I thank President Yarâ€™ Adua for granting amnesty to the militants.â€
He said once the details of the amnesty were made public, something tangible would be done to harmonize the tensed situation.
â€œWe are ready to support whatever thing that is required for the youths because government appreciates this non-violence posture.
â€œIn fact, people should believe in dialogue because violence is destructive and we want to ensure we have positive developmentâ€, he governor said.
He, however, disagreed with the INC leader over his comments on the JTF, explaining that governors in the Niger-Delta would ensure rapid development and peace in the region.