An oil-rich Itsekiri community, Ugborodo in Warri southwest local government area has enjoined the Federal and the Delta state government to prevail on some Ijaws to remove a shrine they allegedly mounted in the community, describing the alleged act as provocative.
An open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, published in several national newspapers and signed by the duo of Hon Mofe Pirah and Tenumah Oloru under the aegis of Concerned Indigenes of Ugborodo further accused those behind the erection of the shrine of allegedly renaming the area from what it had been.
The letter also copied Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, and the Department of State Security Services, DSS said the alleged invasion of Ugborodo could spark off another round of crisis in the Niger Delta if urgent steps were not taken to redress the issues at stake.
“We the undersigned Concerned Indigenes of Ugborodo community in Warri southwest local government area of Delta state write to intimate you of the imminent and dangerous threat to peace in the riverine area of Delta state by the activities of a group of known Ijaw militants under the leadership of a self-acclaimed repentant militant. “
The letter addressed to the National Security Adviser, NSA, further reads in part: ” We hasten to say Sir that the attainment of the said fragile peace in the region was facilitated and achieved by the compromise of our people, the Itsekiri ethnic nationality which included our community Ugborodo. It is a fact that during the Warri crisis that snowballed into the Niger Delta crisis several Itsekiri communities including Ugborodo was invaded and burnt down. “.
“Since the end of the Warri crisis, the people of Ugborodo and the entire Itsekiri nation have waited on the government of Delta state and the federal government to complete the peace-building process by asking the Ijaws to vacate their occupied places in Itsekiri communities. Regrettably, this had not been accomplished. “
“For instance on Monday the 8th day of November 2021, the Ijaw militants’ leader-led over 150 armed Ijaw militants to invade our peaceful and serene Ugborodo community. They in fact came with over 20 boats carrying sophisticated arms and chanting war songs. Together with his marauding gang moved into Saghara part of the Ugborodo community and erect a shrine to henceforth serve their Ijaw deity. “
“Saghara Creek is named after Saghara land which is part of Ugborodo. The militant leader and his armed militants have now renamed this age long Ugborodo settlement as Sarabubor. This is outrightly unacceptable and indeed a call for anarchy. “
“We the people.of Ugborodo community consider the militant invasion of our land as a clarion call for war against our people. “
” It is in the light of the foregoing that we have decided to bring to your kind attention these dangerous activities .
“We would indeed appreciate if you would use your good offices to hastily and rein in the Ijaw militants leader to remove him and his shrine from Ugborodo and before our people who are otherwise peace loving are forced to defend their land by themselves.”