IYC warns of ethnic war between Ijaw, Ibibio
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has implored Governor Emmanuel Udom to stop the incessant killings, forceful eviction and displacement of Ijaw in Akwa Ibom State to avert a full-blown Ijaw and Ibibio inter-ethnic crisis.
IYC President, Eric Omare, said a reprisal attack would become inevitable, as Ijaw across the Niger Delta are ready to defend their kinsmen and territory.
Omare stated that the call for the governor’s intervention had become imperative to urgently stop what he described as the incessant killings, unlawful eviction and continuous displacement of Ijaw communities in Eastern Obolo Local Council of Akwa Ibom State.
He stated that as at the time of going to press yesterday, eight gazetted Ijaw communities under Amazaba federated communities of Eastern Obolo Local Council namely: Ama-Uka, Amangbauji, Ozugbo, Okorobilom, Bethlehen, Ayama, Ama-Nglass and Okoromobolo communities had been displaced for almost 10 years from August 29, 2008, arising from communal and inter-ethnic dispute between the Ikot Akpan Udo people who are of Ibibio origin in Ikot Abasi Local Council and the Ijaw people of Amazaba communities in Eastern Obolo Local Council of the state.
He said: “The IYC strongly condemn the bias and inhuman treatment melted out to the Amazaba Ijaw people by the Akwa Ibom State government. Government exists to protect all its citizens whether minority or majority. We, therefore, call on the Akwa Ibom State government to immediately rebuild all the destroyed Amazaba federated communities in Eastern Obolo Local Council of Akwa Ibom State.”
Omare said several efforts made by the Amazaba Ijaw people to resettle in their communities and the commission of enquiry set up towards resolving the dispute have all proved abortive.
He accused the Ibibio people of using their vantage position in the Akwa Ibom State government to frustrate efforts by the Ijaw to resettle and also the release of government’s white papers on the issue.