The killing of four Itsekiri youths by suspected Ijaw youths, in the riverine areas of Delta State, on Tuesday has been condemned.
Social critic and activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor while addressing newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, noted that aside the loss of human lives, houses and property were also destroyed by the Ijaw youths.
She said, “The crisis in Delta State started on Tuesday morning, when Ijaws launched an attack on Itsekiri villages. The first village is a place called Ayurode (Mount Zion), where 16 houses were razed. They proceeded to Gbokoda where they razed 26 houses. The most beautiful house there was brought down by a rocket launcher. They went on to Ajamita, where they razed seven houses and killed six people. Three of those killed are in Sapele mortuary.
“They went on to Udo, where they shot a man and threw a five year old boy into fire, a man called George was also killed. In the afternoon, they continued their raid. The Ijaw/Itsekiri crisis is with us again. History is repeating itself because in February 27, 1997, the Warri crisis started. The reasons were not known. Some said the Itsekiri were the only benefactors of the oil wells in Delta State, some said the matter was about the creation of a local government area for the Itsekiri.
“Today, we know that all the allegations are not true, the Itsekiri did not benefit from the oil bloc allocations. They were not the big contractors. They were not the big illegal oil bunkerers, they did not even participate in the petty illegal oil bunkering nor are they petty oil thieves, who supply the mother ship in the high sea. The local government area created from the Itsekiri land was supposed to have been the other reason, but today, the headquarters of that council has been moved to Ogbe-Ijaw.”