Ijaw Youths: Count Us out of Lagos, Ogun Massacres

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  • Enough is enough, OPC warns militants, herdsmen

Ademola Babalola in Ibada and Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Youths of Ijaw descent worldwide yesterday 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.

The spokesman of the IYC, Mr. Eric Omare, said yesterday that indications that the organised bloody attacks were overseen by the people of Ijaw land, were not only false, but mischievous.

Two communities, Elepete and Muti, both in Igbo-Olomu, and Ita-Oluwo, Ifo local government of Ogun State had come under a heavy attack, 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 at about 4am through the creeks using sophisticated weapons.

But while absolving their kinsmen of being responsible for the murders, the IYC in a statement issued by its spokesman, Omare, noted 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 organised attacks and killing of people in some Lagos and Ogun communities.”

Meanwhile, Yoruba socio-cultural group, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), yesterday condemned what it called unwarranted, diabolical and fatal attacks on Yorubaland and its people as well as other non-indigenous inhabitants by Fulani herdsmen and Niger-Delta militants, saying “enough is enough.”

The group gave the condemnation in a statement signed by the spokesperson of its National Coordinating Council (NCC), Comrade Sina Akinpelu, and made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

While stating that the Yoruba people are peace-loving and accommodating people which has led to the towns and cities grow in leaps and bounds, Akinpelu warned that the openness and hospitality of the race should not be misconstrued for docility.

According to him, the OPC is able and ever ready to match force with force if that should be the only solution to the incessant attacks on Yorubaland.

He then called on the attackers and those that are aspiring to attack Yorubaland or its interests to have a rethink, stating that there would be immediate and far-reaching reprisals, the type of which is easier imagined than experienced.