•Says Itsekiris, trying to provoke Ijaws.
A group under the auspices of Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group, WIPMG, have alleged that the entire land presently occupied by the Itsekiris of Warri in Delta State belongs to the Ijaws.
The WIPMG, made the disclosure in a Press Statement today through its Chairman, Patrick Bigha, stressed that the occupation of Ijaw land by the Itsekiris was allegedly been attested to, by late. Chief Dore Numa while maintaining that it was no longer a news as it was contained in the intelligence report of Warri.
The group further alleges that Itsekiris are fanning the embers of war through its warlords that are planning to attack Ijaw communities in Warri and its environs while noting that the plot is to use the military to occupy Ijaw communities in the guise of restoring peace should they retaliate.
Bigha, urged the leadership of Itsekiri ethnic nationality to call their warlords to order in ensuring the continuity of peace in the State.
“It has come to our notice that some Itsekiri war lords are planning to attack Ijaw communities in Warri and Its environs in order to provoke retaliation so that the military will come in and occupy Ijaw communities under the guise of maintaining peace.” The group noted.
It further added: “Currently, some Itsekiri groups are claiming that they are the owners of the entire land the people of Gbaramatu kingdom are occupying. We make bold to say that there is no element of truth in that claim. The claim is made in bad faith, as it is baseless and provocative. The Itsekiris are hereby advised to desist from this act of annexing lands that do not belong to them. One thing they should know is that the law courts do not have the right to take someone’s land and give it to other person.
“The Ijaws of Warri are the original occupants of the land they are staying from time immemorial. The Ijaws have not been conquered at any time in the history of Warri. The funny thing is that the Itskiris came to meet the Ijaws in Warri towards the close of the 18th century, and so could not have been the owners of the Warri land. It was the colonial masters that gave them the land belonging to the Ijaws as attested to by their own son and leader, Chief Dore Numa in the Warri Intelligent Reports. The report is a public document anyone can lay his or her hands on. Therefore the Itsekiris should stop this frivolous claims.
“On a final note, we wish to call on the Itsekiri monarch and other well- meaning Itsekiri people to call these war lords to order so that we can continue to live in peace.” WIPMG stated.
It would be recalled that the Itsekiris and their neighbouring Ijaws of Gbaramatu Kingdom have recently engaged in series of media war as counter and cross counter claims on ownership of their settlements.