By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Youths of Ijaw descent worldwide on Sunday rebutted insinuations that last week’s attacks by armed gangs on communities in Lagos and Ogun states were carried out by Ijaw people.
While condemning the wanton killings, the youths under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide called on the Federal Government to treat those involved in the act as criminals.
Spokesman of the IYC, Mr Eric Omare, said that indications that the organised bloody attacks were overseen by the people of Ijaw land, were not only false, but mischievous.
Two Lagos communities, Elepete and Muti, both in Igbo-Olomu, and Ita-Oluwo, Ifo local government area of Ogun state had come under heavy attacks, leaving at least 20 persons dead.
Reports ascribed the killings to suspected militants ‘who are mostly Ijaws’, who were said to have invaded the communities about 4am through the creeks using sophisticated weapons.
But while absolving their kinsmen of being responsible for the murders, the IYC noted in a statement issued by Omare that the ‘sensational’ headlines were capable of stoking ethnic tensions.
”The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, disassociates Ijaw people and groups from the incessant attacks and killing of innocent Nigerians in Lagos and Ogun States by criminal elements.
”The reported attacks and killings are purely criminal and the IYC in strong terms condemns such criminal conducts irrespective of who is involved.
”However, we state clearly that the persons carrying out these criminal attacks are not Ijaw people and it is absolutely wrong to refer to them as Ijaw militants.
”The sensational headlines and impression being created is that it is Ijaw people or groups that are carrying out organized attacks and killing of people in some Lagos and Ogun communities.”