By Daniel Gumm
KOKOâ€” ALL Itsekiri communities in possession of arms and ammunition have been urged to bring out such weapon on or before the 28th of this month as a mark of goodwill and commitment to the success of the amnesty recently proclaimed by the Federal Government.
Speaking to our correspondent after an emergencyÂ meeting of the Supreme Executive Organ of Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC) which held at Ogheye in Warri North local government area of Delta State, the Secretary of the Itsekiri youths group, Mr. Isaac Dorsu, called on all Itsekiri communities in both Delta and Edo states that had to acquire arms and ammunition to protect themselves as a result of the insecurity and blood-letting that enveloped the area since 1997 to bring them out for collection by representatives of the youths body.
Mr. Dorsu said the situation that forced such communities to acquire arms to defend themselves against invasion and consequent burning of their communities, besides the human casualties, no longer exist; and as such, there is no basis for any community to still be in possession of any arm.
He said a four-man committee had been set up to undertake tours of Itsekiri towns and villages to spread the â€˜gospelâ€™ of the present amnesty in all its principles, dimensions and possible consequences, and to collect such arms and ammunition and hand them over to the appropriate authorities, â€œbased on our hope that the Federal Government would not be in a hurry to remove members of the Joint Task Force from Itsekiri communities.â€
He lamented the devastation and havoc wreaked on many Itsekiri communities between 1997 and 2004, noting that if the Federal Government had acted early enough when Itsekiri persons and communities were then the only targets, â€œthis worrisome devastating, catastrophic and macabre situations would have been avoided.â€
He stated that Itsekiri would stop at nothing â€œto cooperate with the Federal Government in this direction, given the clear signals that the present government at the federal level is determined to make a difference as manifested in the four major projects proposed for Itsekiri land.â€
These, according to him, include: Omadino-Ugborodo (Escravos) Road, Koko-Ogheye Road; and internal roads for Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri) and Egbekodo, and â€œhoping that all these projects would be completed within the life span of this administration.â€
INYC appealed to the Federal Government to assist in the re-building of the over 50 Itsekiri towns and villages destroyed during the crisis; and thanked the Yarâ€™ Aduaâ€™s administration for approving Free Trade ZoneÂ in Koko.