Itsekiri leader, Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has appealed to elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, not to throw Delta State into another round of ethnic crisis, warning that his recent alarm of threat to his life shouldnâ€™t be another excuse to start fresh bloodletting in Warri and the state in general.
According to her, the alarm raised by Chief Clark is connected with the problem former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, is currently having with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,Â EFCC.
Chief Clark had raised an alarm recently of a fresh ethnic crisis in the state, reminiscent of the ones that engulfed the state in 1997 and 2007.
But Chief Ogbebor said the alarm was not only misplaced, but also capable of bringing to the fore the anger of Itsekiri people, who were wrongly accused of causing the crises of 1997 and 2007.
According to her, the alarm which Chief Clark traced to the attack on his house is suspicious.
Ogbebor said: â€œNow, we want to ask: Where does the Itsekiri nation come into the problem of Ibori that can make E. K. Clark to raise alarm and refer to the crises of 1997 and 2007?Â Why is E. K. Clark threatening the whole of Itsekiriland?
â€œI want to say here that whatever Uduaghan or any of his boys have done politically as members of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should be taken at that level.Â Itsekiriland is not PDP and PDP is not Itsekiriland.
â€œWe are peace-loving people but by no means cowards.Â Chief Clark has a right to cry out if there are threats to his life, but that development should not become another excuse to start fresh bloodletting in Warri and Delta State.
â€œI want to say again and again that violence is not the prerogative of one man or one ethnic group.Â The Itsekiris will not be frightened or afraid of violence.Â We are consistent in our thoughts and action and abhor stealing and corruption.
â€œFor example, there is a case just now in which a group, which called itself Warri Watch, wrote against the Acting President and mischievously used Itsekiri names.Â When Itsekiri leadership saw it, it was countered.”
â€œThe publication by Warri Protection Forum said they (Itsekiris) were supporting Acting President Goodluck Jonathan in his renewed fight against corruption.Â It was not done because the Itsekiri people were afraid or were playing to the gallery of Acting President Jonathan.
â€œIt was done because that is the way it is.Â Itsekiri people respect the rule of law and integrity.Â Former govrnor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, must clear his name.â€