*Attacks no more acceptable – Ekiyor
Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has called on Federal and Delta State governments to protect lives and property of Amatebe community, Patani Local Government Area of Delta State, and other Ijaw communities from Fulani herdsmen, warning that the menace may lead to inter-ethnic crisis if not addressed.
A statement signed by the group’s Spokesperson, Daniel Dasimaka also called on the Nigerian Police, the Directorate of State Services (DSS), the Joint Task Force(JTF), and other security agencies in the Niger Delta to end herdsmen and other attacks on Ijaw communities.
“For the sake of peace, stability and ethnic harmony we are strongly urging the Delta State government, the Federal Government as well as Hausa-Fulani and other Northern leaders to stop this menace before it degenerates into a full-fledged inter-ethnic conflict.
“If no concrete and sincere effort is put into stopping these attacks on our people in our own land, Ijaw will rise in defence of Ijaw land. We Ijaws are a people who have never been conquered in our entire history. So we shall not sit idly by to allow gun-toting terrorists disguised as herdsmen invade and terrorize any piece of our territory”, Dasimaka added.
The Spokesperson said the IYC had been informed of the perennial invasion of Amatebe, Bulu Angiama and other Ijaw villages in Delta State, by marauding Fulani herdsmen, stressing that the reported hostage taken of Ijaw people in their own land by Fulani herdsmen was not acceptable.
He further said reports at the IYC’s disposal indicate that herdsmen do collect cigarettes, beverages, garri, extort money from villagers, especially farmers and fishermen before granting them access to their farms and fish ponds.
Dasimaka added that activities of these Fulani herdsmen have been hugely disrupting the sociocultural and economic life of these Ijaw communities.
Also lending his voice to the incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen, erstwhile president of the IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor said invasion of communities, destruction of farmlands and holding agrarian hostage by Fulani herdsmen portend greater danger for communities dwellers, adding that if not properly addressed,the situation may lead to break down of law and order.
Dr Chris Ekiyor, while reacting to recent attacks by herdsmen in some Delta communities, particularly the invasion on Amatebe community, Patani Local Government Area, said Fulani herdsmen activities were no more acceptable, describing it as callous and an infringement on the rights of the indigenes of the communities.
“It is unacceptable for the herdsmen to occupy Delta communities as their grazing lands thereby destroying their farmlands, sometimes demanding ransom from farmers and fishermen to allow them to their farms and fish ponds and maiming innocent citizens of the communities.
“As good citizens of the state, we condemn in its entirety, the destruction of farmlands and extortion from the helpless villagers who are going about their daily struggles to survive. This oppression of communities should stop in the interest of peaceful co-existence”, Dr Ekiyor warned.
The former IYC boss therefore called on Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and security agencies to take decisive action to avert a breakdown of law and order in the state.