By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”Ijaw militants in the creeks weekend hijacked a speedboat conveying about twenty Itsekiri passengers from Escravos to Warri.
The incident which took place around the Burutu river is said to be causing ripples between both ethnic groups that have been enjoying cordial relationship since the end of the seven years Warri crisis which pitched the Ijaw, Urhobo and Itsekiri in a bloody war.
Speaking to Vanguard through an Ugborodo youth leader, the boat owner, Mr. Gowon Kumene, said they left Escravos through the high seas passing through Burutu because of the blockade mounted by the military Joint Task Force (JTF), along the Escravos â€“Gbaramatu-Warri waterways.
He said somewhere along the Burutu river they were accosted by these well armed youths who then hijacked them into the bush and made away with the double 75 horsepower out board engine boats leaving them stranded.
Confirming the incident, Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, JMCC, of the JTF, Colonel Rabe Abubakar said they are aware of the incident but that the JTF do not have military base along the Burutu route, saying that there are efforts to fish out the culprits.
Meanwhile, prominent Gbaramatu leader and marine merchant, Chief Wilson Bubor has commended President Musa Yar â€œAdua for granting amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta, saying that the gesture would rekindle the confidence of the people in the Nigerian project.