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Itsekiri, Ijaw groups split over talks with FG

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By Emma Amaize & Egufe Yafugborhi

WARRI—AN Ijaw group, Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation, NDSWO, has differed with the Warri Study Group, WSG, an Itsekiri group, over the latter’s denunciation of the purported interface by Ijaw leaders, led by Chief Edwin Clark, under the auspices of a pan-Niger Delta coastal states, which it described as an Ijaw agenda.


WSG had in a statement by its chairman and secretary, Edward Ekpoko and Tony Ede, warned the Federal Government to be wary of Ijaw leaders and sponsors of militant groups, who want to barter the interest of other Niger Delta ethnic nationalities, saying that the Ijaw agenda was different from Niger Delta agenda.

However, NDSWO, in a counter statement, yesterday, by Dickson Bekederemo, said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by a class of ltsekiri that are anti- progressive in nature, under the auspices of Warri Study Group. Ordinarily, one ought not to respond, but for the sake of the public that might want to believe them.

“We state that its allegation of elders encouraging what they termed criminality is baseless and unfounded and a clear attempt to portray one ethnic group as criminals.

“Any unbiased tribe in the Niger Delta is aware that the rebellious spirit resides in the heart of an average Niger Delta youth that is knowledgeable of the obnoxious or inhuman laws that stole the region’s common heritage. Several genuine, legitimate and peaceful efforts were made by the aborigines of Niger Delta, but to no avail.

“The immigrants may not see any need to strive for political and economic emancipation, but the aborigines even prior to independence have been agitating for an autonomous Niger Delta because of their peculiar needs.

“While we acknowledged the fact that war does no one any good, the question we want to ask is: Has anything good come to Niger Delta without violent agitation? OMPADEC was established by IBB as a result of the blood sacrifice made by young army officers from Niger -Delta region, led by the late Major Orkar. The aftermath of Ogoni agitation gave birth to 13 per cent derivation.

“Hundreds of Ogoni youths and the renowned environmentalist, Ken Saro- Wiwa sacrificed their lives for the economic liberation of the Niger Delta. In 1999, NDDC was established in direct response to Kaiama Declaration. In that struggle, hundreds of defenseless and harmless ljaw youths were massacred.”

“Sequel to the rebellious act of MEND, the late President Yar’adua granted amnesty and went further to establish the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. The palliative institutions established to assuage the economic and environmental pains of the region, neither the ljaw nor the Ogoni are the sole beneficiaries.

“We need to know, is the Warri Study Group like the bird called Chichidodo? The bird that hates faeces, but feeds on the maggots that comes out of it. We want to state that the disposition of Warri Study Group over issues relating to developmental strides in the region is apparently portraying them as saboteurs.”

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