PIND on a peace mission in Ijaw, Itsekiri

By Badmus Shina

The Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, has subsequently organized the Warri Multi Stakeholder Platform, MSP, a platform that aims for peaceful co-existence between Ijaws and Itsekiris ethnic groupings in Delta state.

GbaramatuVoice had initially reported the Warri-MSP in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area on Friday September 20, 2019.

The programme was taken to Warri South-West Local Government Area on Wednesday November 13, 2019, where stakeholders from Ijaw and Itsekiri areas were brought together in Ogbe-Ijoh, the headquarters of Warri South West LGA to proffer ways to which conflict can be contained should it erupt.

The programme had government officials, traditional leaders as well as security agents giving their professional point of view on the necessity for peace.

Ijaw and Itsekiri stakeholders in a group photograph with members of PIND, during the Warri Multi Stakeholders Platform Townhall meeting in Ogbe-Ijoh, headquarters of Warri South West LGA, Delta state, on Wednesday November 13, 2019.

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Chief Africas Lawal, the coordinator of the programme, who made it an interactive one, welcomed contributions from stakeholders to give their views on what both tribes had in common. Having learnt that both ethnic groupings had a lot in common, Chief Africa concluded that there was no reason for the groupings to continue to embrace fracas, since they were practically brothers.

Further, the people narrated instances of how conflict crops up between the Ijaws and the Itsekiris. One of the participants said that when one tribe violets a law in the other’s territory and he or she is apprehended, the other tribe wouldn’t want to find out the cause of such action but would spur for war, heading back to where the offense was committed with intention to fight.

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The DPO of Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom, SP Nmor Ifenyi said that in such an instance, the case should be brought to the police to sort out ways to resolve the problem. He further said that if the matter wasn’t resolved by the police, it would be taken to court so that both parties could have a judicial solution.

Chief Donokoromo Brodrick, who represented the Pere of Ogbe-Ijoh Kingdom, educating the people, said that without peace no development.

He also said that peace could not be achievable if there was deceit. He said, “Lets continue to live in peace. Ijaws and Itsekiris are living together, so why are we climbing on ourselves and causing disunity?” 

Chief Isaiah Ukulor who represented the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom also said there was a need for peaceful coexistence as it would determine the legacy left for the children.

He said, “I thank God for PIND and this platform that they setup to ensure peace between Ijaws and Itsekiris.

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“Before, Warri used to boom and people come here to look for money but now the reverse is the case. 

“When we live together at the end of the day we are supposed to have peace.

“We shouldn’t allow outsiders to come into our midst, cause trouble and leave, then we begin to fight ourselves.”

Chief Clement Akpeto, standing in for the Olu of Warri added that peace is not cheap. 

In his words, “Tell our children, educate them, guide them and they will do better. The youth should not be too greedy to pocket all that is meant for the community or state for themselves.”

Dr. Austin Onuoha advised that both the Ijaws and Itsekiris should accept each other as acceptance was the prerequisite for peaceful coexistence.

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