By TONY NYONG
… as Itsekiri Devt Congress petitions Jonathan over attack…
UYO—Major ethnic nationalities in the South-South region have disassociated themselves from the call for 10 federating units for Nigeria as proposed by Ijaw National Congress, INC, and have also risen against the call for Ijaw region.
In a statement, Ibibio, Ikwere, Itsekiri, Isoko and Benin ethnic nationalities of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, and Edo states described the position of INC as a Frankestein monster.
They said if the ethnic nationalities in the South-South were already suffocating under the political weight of the Ijaw in the current dispensation, the creation of Ijaw region, including their ethnic nationalities, will be a nightmare.
Speaking during a meeting at the palace of the Ntisong of Ibibio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta said: “One of the proposed 10 federating units is the Niger Delta Region depicted in the map as Ijaw region.
“The proposed Ijaw Region includes territories belonging to the Ibibio of Akwa Ibom State; Ikwerre of Rivers State; Isoko, Itsekiri and Urhobo of Delta State; Bini of Edo State and Ilaje of Ondo State.”
They also condemned what they described as the unprovoked and barbaric attacks on some Itsekiri communities in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, which led to the loss of lives and destruction of property, calling on the Federal Government to bring those behind the dastard act to book.
The group also expressed concern over the alleged illegal acquisition of firearms and ammunition within the region, which it linked to increase in illegal bunkering and oil theft, and called on the government of President Goodluck Johnathan to intervene to stem the possibility of an escalation into a regional crisis.
Itsekiri Devt Congress petitions Jonathan
Itsekiri, under the aegis of Itsekiri Development Congress, IDC, have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call their Ijaw neighbours to order to avoid breakdown of law and order.
In an open letter to President Jonathan entitled Please Stop this Genocidal Tendency of the Ijaw, they said the recent attack on Itsekiri was “a stage in the overall plan of our neighbour to exterminate Itsekiri, occupy and covert our homeland.”
The letter, signed by Mr. Emma Okotie-Eboh and Mr. Solomon Iwetan, IDC Chairman and Secretary, respectively, said: “In the early hours July 1, 2013, when the Itsekiri villagers were still asleep or getting ready for their daily sustenance, death and mayhem came in the form of our Ijaw neighbours.”
IDC said it was necessary to apprehend and bring to justice perpetrators of the attack so that Itsekiri would not be forced to defend themselves, which could worsen the security situation in the country.
It said more than 10 Itsekiri villages were razed, many people killed, maimed or rendered homeless.
IDC said the chairmanship seat of Warri North Local Government Area, which is being touted as excuse for the invasion, was not the Itsekiri’s to give.
It said: “In a democracy, it is never the Itsekiri or the Ijaw that should win the chairmanship. It is and will always be the candidate with the highest vote.”