Communal Clash Causes Tension In Delta As Ijaw Youths Kill Four Itsekiri

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Armed Ijaw youths yesterday unleashed terror on Ajamita community in Warri North council area of Delta State, killing three youths and an elderly man, while about 34 houses were burnt down by the youths at Gbokoda, Ajamita and Udo riverine communities off the Atlantic Ocean.

The armed youths were said to have invaded the three communities at 5.00a.m., shooting sporadically with indigenes running into nearby bush for safety.

The corpses of the three dead youths are currently at a private morgue in Sapele, while the elderly man was said to have been buried at his community.

Speaking on the incident, President of Itsekiri Development Association, IDA, and member of Delta State Waterways Security Committee, Mr. Omolubi Newuwumi, said the perpetrators were the same Ijaw youths from Egbema that recently sparked off crisis by hijacking and kidnapping some boats and persons travelling to various communities along the Benin River axis of Warri.

He said the mission of the youths was to ignite another round of Itsekiri/Ijaw fratricidal war from which they intend to make enormous financial gains as in the recent past.

He however said they do not enjoy the support of well meaning Ijaw leaders and youths of Egbema kingdom, who cherish the peaceful co-existence now in place.

Following the incident, Chairman, Warri Study Group, WSG, and Secretary to the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, Mr. Edward Ekpoko has called on the Federal and state governments, and all security agencies to investigate the killings and unwarranted burning of houses by the attackers with a view to bringing them to book to serve as deterrent to others with similar evil intentions.

Ekpoko said the quick apprehension of the culprits would douse the tension and prevent any retaliatory measure, saying that any war at this time in the Itsekiri/Ijaw relations would not benefit both ethnic nationalities in anyway.

Ijaw elder statesman and Egbema leader, Chief Emma Ebimami condemned the attacks and the killings, arguing that as a result of the leadership tussle in Itsekiri communities, some aggrieved Itsekiri youths could have invited the Ijaw youths to come to their assistance.

He stressed the need to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.