- Gbaramatu chiefs in Warri south west council area of Delta state have called on their Itsekiri neighbours to allow peace reign in the Warri community
- The Gbaramatu chiefs have alleged that the Itsekiri neigbhours are allegedly planning to intensify military siege against their Ijaw neighbours
- They traced the history of Itsekiri dealings with them, hence the appeal for peaceful co-existence
Gbaramatu chiefs in Warri south west local government area of Delta state have alleged that their Itsekiri neighbours are intensifying plans to put Gbaramatu area under military siege in order to carry out plans of attacks on the Ijaw people in the area.
Chairmen of communities under Gbaramatu kingdom raised the allegation, noting that such underground plans should be jettisoned to "avoid repeat of such senseless, unnecessary and avoidable crisis that will turn Warri, the business hub of Delta state, to a ghost city again."
In an email to NAIJ.com, chairman of Kokodiagbene community, Sheriff Mulade, traced the history of Itsekiri dealings with the Ijaw people, adding that the Itsekiri people have always applied tricks to get at the Ijaw people.
He said: "We can still vividly recall our efforts in 1990 when the Ijaws of Diebiri, Isaba, Ogbe Ijoh and Gbaramatu kingdoms demanded for political freedom by requesting for a local government area with headquarter at Oporoza.
"As usual in their trickery way through a respected leader, late Chief Alfred Rewane, and others to lobby, bribe and arm twist the then authorities in 1991 through their Yoruba family lineage and change the already agreed and approved council headquarters Oporoza to Koko, present headquarters Warri North local government area of Delta state.
"The Ijaws again embarked on a peaceful request for local government area with headquarters at Ogbe Ijoh this time but the Itsekiris again adopted their dubious character and bribe through their Yoruba lineage to the top and changed the headquarters to Ogidigben, which the Ijaws of Diebiri, Isaba, Ogbe Ijoh and Gbaramatu Kingdoms resisted through peaceful protest in 1996.
"However, it’s still fresh in our memories how the Itsekiris mobilised their youths from Ogunwaja area in Sapele local government area of Delta state to attack us, wounded dozens, burnt down houses, destroyed our properties and killed an Ijaw from Kabowei kingdom in Patani local government area with the primary aim of intimidating, harassing and using security personnel to arrest us, that led to the avoidable crisis that ruined Warri and its environs’ economy."
They said it was high time the Ijaws and Itsekiris came together as a people and jointly worked together for the development of the area, rather than promote discord that could lead to crisis.
The chairmen alleged that those instigating Itsekiri ethnic nationality against others are only introducing disunity and bad blood among them to enable them exploit their natural resources to develop their areas.
The chairmen alleged that some of their Itsekiri brothers were using Chief Rita Lori-Ogbeibor, their respected mother to arm twist reality and justice.
The email further read: "Our attention has been drawn to the continuous cruel and malicious plans by some of our Itsekiri neighbours who are using one of our most respected mother and traditional chief in the Niger Delta to arm twist reality and justice.
“They believe they can bribe the judges through the backdoor with the support of Yoruba who they always rely on to get fictitious, frivolous and fraudulent judgment that had led to various communal crisis in Warri and environs.
"We will like to remind our Itsekiri neighbours that we have come a long way together as a people and it is high time we jointly worked together for the development of our area.”
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