By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—PRESIDENT of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, has absolved the Ijaw ethnic nationality of constituting the rank and file of Niger Delta Avengers and the Alepo militants in Lagos and Ogun states, saying that the Ijaw were not the only people involved in militantancy.
Eradiri, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, when he addressed newsmen, said it was wrong for people to link the criminal activities in Lagos and Ogun states to the Ijaw, adding that those involved were criminals and should be treated as such by security agencies.
He said: “There is an economic crime going on along the pipelines in this country. There are Yoruba people there. There are Igbo, there are Hausa, Fulani, Ijaw and other ethnic nationalities involved in the crime going on in Arepo. Nigerians should stop ascribing it to Ijaw people. Nigerians should stop ascribing anything that happens in the Niger Delta to Ijaw people. For the avoidance of doubt, Niger Delta Avengers are not Ijaw people.
“We don’t know who the Niger Delta Avengers are. The security people should do their work and stop transferring their responsibilities to community leaders, youth organisations and leaders of ethnic nationalities.
“In as much as we grieve with the families that were affected in one way or another, we want to categorically say that the Avengers and Alepo militants are not Ijaw people, they are common criminals who are stealing refined products for economic reasons.”
The IYC president who regretted the destruction of property belonging to Ijaw people in Lagos, appealed to the Yoruba not to allow themselves to be used by fifth columnists who are bent on creating conflict and animosity between the Yoruba and Ijaw in Lagos, adding that the Ijaw will not support any negative thing that will destabilise Lagos State and its environs and other affected communities but will lend their support in the resolution of the crisis.