Ijaw Group Tackles Benin Solidarity Movement Over Incendiary Remark On Ikoro Community

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By Binebai Princewill

An Ijaw group under the aegis of Izon-Ibe Dragnet has tackled the Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) over their comment on Ikoro community recently alleging that there is nothing like Ikoro Community in Edo State.

The Izon-Ibe Dragnet particularly warned the Benin Solidarity Movement not to see the peaceful disposition of the Ijaws of Edo, particularly the people of Ikoro and the entire Olodiama Kingdom as a sign of weakness, stressing that no one has the monopoly of violence. 

This was contained in a rejoinder  signed and issued to newsmen in Benin, the capital of Edo State yesterday by  Bandua Itebete, Spokesman, Izon-Ibe Dragnet, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide.

However, the Ijaw  group while educating the Benin Solidarity movement had accused them of being purveyors of violence, adding that they should be well informed about the history of the Ijaws before speaking in public, noting that the existence of Ikoro community predates Obazuwa community in Edo State. 

The rejoinder resds in full below:

Re : Nothing like Ikoro Community in Edo State 
Your Statement inciting and irresponsible’, Izon Ibe Dragonet tells Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM). 

We have come across a malicious publication signed by some deluded merchants of confusion, bunch of political apologists and ethnic bigots with no  indepth knowledge of history. 

Haven exhibited an high level of impunity, insensitivity and no remorse to the fact that property worth millions of naira had been destroyed in Ikoro Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State .

It is worthy to note that the Ijaw nation have never been conquered and hence our resolve to  live in peace with our neigbours should not be seen as an act of weakness.

However, we have keenly observed the activities of this irresponsible Group with the name” Benin Solidarity movement (BSM) ” and still wonder why such bunch of  nonentities will hold sway for the Benin Royal Palace and also become the mouth piece of the Benin Speaking Tribe which to us it’s not only unfortunate, it is very sardonic.

We could remember vividly how this same irresponsible Group almost caused inter tribal war  between the Itsekiris and the Bini’s in Ologbo, not to talk of their countless effort to also instigate crisis between the Ijaws in Gelegele and their  Ughoton neigbours which we have continuously demobilized, as we wish to posit as follows;

1) That it seems  the said Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) is grossly deficient of history, if not they would have known that Ikoro Community predates Obazuwa Community and such cannot be called settlers. 

2) That a little research on what transpired in early 80’s between Ikoro Community and a now non -existent Ikoloke Community which shared boundary with Ikoro Community would certainly give the BSM a clearer picture of what they are about to plunge the people of Obazuwa Community into and hence get a little wisdom from it and apply brakes before it’s too late. 

3) That its quest to continuously pitch the people and communities against each other and create a rift between the Oba of Benin and Governor only show how petty this notorious Group has become. As this  has become their  stock in trade and have obviously created an economy around it. 

 4) We  would have expected that the zeal in which the Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM), have used in instigating tribal crisis between the Communities and its sorry effort to be more Catholic than the Pope,  should have been channeled to the return of the remains of the late Oba Ovoranmwen who was deposed in 1897 and taken to Calabar by the British where he eventually died and was buried. As his  remains is still rolling and crying for help in a strange land for him to return to his ancestral home.

5) Rather than do so, in conjunction with those who have claimed to be custodian of Benin culture and tradition in  moving for the return of the remains of the late  Oba Ovaranmen to  Benin and given him a befiting burial in the sacred  precincts of the Benin royal palace, but rather, they are more interested in the late Oba Ovoranmwen looted Artefacts return because of the monetary value attached to it. 

Finally we wish to Posit  that the current silence of the Benin Royal Palace and the Edo State Government, to the Notorious Activities of the Benin Solidarity Movement and senseless attack by the Obazuwa Community on the people of Ikoro Community is an indication that the Group is currently speaking for and on behalf of the Palace and also getting some form of protection from the  Edo State Government. While we also do not have any problem with the Palace or Government on their deliberate decision to be silent on this sensitive issue which to us is an inalienable right,  however we wish to state emphatically that everyone should also be ready to accept the  consequences of these Choices. 

Sign Bandua Itebete Spokesman Izon Ibe Dragnet

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