Ijaw leaders beg Yoruba nation over death of kinsmen during militants’ invasion of Ogun

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By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Leaders of the Ijaw National Congress have apologised to the Yoruba leaders over the killing of several innocent people by suspected Niger Delta Militants of the Ijaw extraction at Sagamu and Ikorodu both in Ogun and Lagos states.
Led by the Chairman of the Bayelsa Elders Council, Chief Francis Dokpola, the Ijaw leaders said those militants that killed the Yoruba people were not sent by them and could not have been militants but criminals.
They met with Akarigbo pf Remo, Oba Michael Sonariwo, who incidentally is the current Chairman of the Ogun state Traditional Council, who was represented by the Odofin Sanyindo, Oba Muibi Samuel Gisanrin, Oba Samuel Oladele Dawodu, the Onigbepa of Igbepa Sagamu, HRH, Oba Solagbade Tijani, the Alado of Ado Sagamu and Oba Mufutau Adeoye Sanni, the Aminisan of Oko to express their sympathy with Yorubas over the unfortunate killings.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be Niger Delta militants had between June and early July this year, attacked six Ogun communities of Imushin, Elepete and Igbo-Olomu in Ogijo as well as in Ibafo areas of Sagamu and Obafemi – Owode local government areas of Ogun state in which several people were killed.
The militants who were also said to have invaded the communities through the creeks in the areas were said to have engaged the security agents in gun duel and sent the landlords away from their homes for more than two weeks.
But addressing the Yoruba leaders in Sagamu, leader of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Chief Dokpola explained that the delegation were in Akarigbo palace to pay a condolence visit and discuss the issue with them on the way forward.
Flanked by other Ijaw leaders which included Chairman INC Lagos, Chief Patrick Keku, Chairman Ijaw Youth Council,  Lagos, Boma Johnbull and  leader of Ijaw Monitoring group,  Andrew  Elijah.
Dokpola however, exonerated the Ijaw people living in the affected communities, stressing that masterminders of the carnage were not militants but criminals.
He also denied that the Ijaw people living in the areas absconded after the incident, emphasising that they were not the ones that orchestrated the violence.
“We are sorry, very sorry for what has happened. Our leaders are disturbed. Ijaw people are disturbed. Those Ijaw people hat live with you are your brothers. If they are the ones that killed people, they will not have stayed there”.
“We don’t send them to kill people. We don’t know them. It behoves on the Police, the Army, SSS, NSCDC to arrest the criminals. On our part, we are investigating and we will submit   the report to the appropriate authority”.
“These Ijaw people have stayed with you for numbers of years. They did not leave the place after the incident. It means they are not the ones that did it.
“Those who carried out the carnage are bunkerers and criminals. Ijaw people could be among them, Igbo nationalities could be there also, Ghanian could be part of the criminals too”.
“Militants are not killing people, they are only causing economic sabotage to the country. But killing human beings cannot resolve the matter.
“The security should go after the criminals. INC will investigate. This is done by bunkerers and criminals. It is not that Ijaw people are killing people”.
Responding to the Ijaw leaders’ plea, the Akarigbo, Oba Sonariwo said he believed that the meeting was successful, expressing satisfaction that such criminal act would not happen again.

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