Sapele—The Iwere Peoples’ Congress, aka, Agbukumasa, the self defence arm of the Itsekiri ethnic nationality, which came into existence during the Ijaw and Itsekiri communal crisis between 1997-2003, yesterday, warned that the fact that the Itsekiri people were not known for violence should not mean that they cannot carry out violence.
It subsequently called on the Federal Government and oil companies in Itsekiri land to stop divide and rule antics and modern day slavery of the people, or be prepared to face their wrath.
The group, through its National Coordinator, Prince Ekwejunor-Etchie Okorodudun, said:
“The Nigerian State and its administrative component called Delta State have abandoned their constitutional role towards an ethnic nationality that is part of their geographical and constitutional authority – the Itsekiri nation.”
“Successive governments have failed the Itsekiri nation as they could not provide the necessary security, protection of the Itsekiri people, land and property during the crisis. We are accusing the government of lack-lustre and lackadaisical behaviour.
“The military unit (19th Battalion) which presently has its operational headquarters in koko and other sub units, protect only the oil locations, and not the lives and property of Itsekiri people.
The same thing with the Nigeria Navy, present in Warri, Madangho and in Escravos Bay, all do not guarantee the security of the average Itsekiri land, lives and property, even though the Itsekiri people do not support or form part of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, though, one of the reasons for the agitation of the NDA is also a fundamental concern to the Itsekiri nation.
“However, the Itsekiri nation produces about over 500,000 barrels of oil per day for the Nigerian, yet since the inception of NDDC, the Itsekiri nation that is the highest single nation that contributes about 30 percent of the nation’s total oil production can not single out relevant project carried out in this area and only a little can be seen by DESOPADEC, a state government intervention agency, compared with the total amount of money voted for such projects.
We wonder if transparency and accountability have been buried.” The group called on the Federal Ministry of Niger-Delta, the Ministry of petroleum resources and the presidency to make public any project since 1999 when NDDC was inaugurated till date, executed in Itsekiri land, and the contractors that handled such project.