…Says Ijaws Worldwide is watching Obaseki and his people
By Binebai Princewill
Ijaw Youths in Western Zone, comprising Delta, Edo and Ondo states have fumed over the alleged persistent attack by Obazuma community on Ikoro community, an Ijaw settlement in Edo State.
The Western Zone IYC had accused the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki of quietly supervising what they described as ethnic cleansing against the Ijaws in Edo State.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of an emergency stakeholders meeting held at Sapele on the 7th of August 2023 signed by the trio of Dr. Doubra Collins Okotete, Chairman, Comrade Olu-Derimon Omaghomi, Secretary and Comrade Lugard Izoukumor, Information Officer, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide.
However, the communique had informed Governor Godwin Obaseki and other powerful stakeholders in Edo State that the Ijaws in Delta, Ondo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom are watching the alleged ethnic cleansing that is ongoing under his reign as Governor of the state.
The communique reads in full below:
A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED IN AN EMERGENCY MEETING BY THE IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL (IYC) WESTERN ZONE: [Delta, Edo and Ondo States] WITH FEW STAKEHOLDERS IN SAPELE, ON THE 7 OF AUGUST, 2021.
IKORO/ OBAZUWA CRISIS, HISTORY WILL JUDGE GOVERNOR OBASEKI, IN HIS QUIET SOLIDARITY WITH OBAZUWA TO EXTINCT IKORO
1. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Western Zone convened an emergency meeting with few critical stakeholders in Council, at Sapele to deliberate the consistent marginalization of the Ijaws in Edo State, particularly the communal clash between Obazuwa Community and Ikoro an Ijaw Community.
2. The IYC frowns on the unwarranted invasion, wanton destruction of lives and property in Ikoro Community, which is the ancestral headquarters of Olodiama Kingdom, in Edo State that is amongst the many belated long list of carnage, mayhem, and premeditated plan of ethnic cleansing to wipeout the Ijaws of Edo State.
3. In numerous correspondences and press statements it will interest the public to note, Council has called on the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to intervene in the crisis for peace and amity to be restored, because Council believes peace is the only panacea to sustainable economic development.
4. Council so far has studied and reviewed the claims and counter claims by Obazuwa Community wherein they erroneously stated that the Ijaws are settlers in Ikoro in their doctored history and quest in collaboration of the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and other powerful people in Edo State to extinct the Ijaw people. Yesterday, it was Gelegele. Today, it is Ikoro.
5. The IYC is therefore astonished with the fact that, despite, our people’s [Ijaw people in Edo] contributions politically and economically Governor Obaseki will indulge an ethnic pogrom by exposing himself, whereby quietly supervising the ongoing ethnic cleansing.
6. Thus, Council alerts the world to hold the Edo State Government responsible on the ongoing ethnic cleansing that is quietly perpetuated and supervised by Mr. Godwin Obaseki and other powerful people in Edo State, supporting Obazuwa Community against Ikoro an Ijaw Community.
7. Furthermore, the IYC notifies Governor Obaseki and those powerful people in Edo State that:
(i) From Delta to Bayelsa, from Rivers to Akwa-Ibom and Ondo States that Ijaw people are watching, and we will resist any attempt to subdue and suppress our people and Communities in line with constitutional provisions of the law of the land, as well as in retrospect to the motto of the IYC: “resource control and self-determination by every means possible.
(ii) That Ijaw people have never been conquered, and we will never be conquered by Obazuwa Community or the Edo State Government.
(iii) However, that as Ijaw people even though we are peace lovers, we can legitimately protect Ijaw people because no one has the monopoly of violence, hence, we are not intimidated by a satellite hot such as Obazuwa Community regardless of the support the Edo State Government accord them.
In conclusion, we remind Governor Obaseki that although he is the Governor of Edo State, but when history will judge him, history will judge him as the Governor who quietly supported an ethnic cleansing by the atrocities of Obazuwa Community against Ikoro people and by extension the Ijaw people of Edo State.
Signed: for IYC Western Zone
Dr. Doubra Collins Okotete, Chairman
Comrade Olu-Derimon Omaghomi, Secretary and Comrade Lugard Izoukumor, Information Officer.