BY OBED OLUKU…..
On January 24th, 2020. The Ijaw Group under the Aegis of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative ( IPDI ), expressed their displeasure over the unnecessary demolition of the Takwa Bay Island, by the Lagos State Government, without an alternative provision for the settlers of the Island.
The group expressed this, in a press statement signed by the group’s national President, Comrade Austin Ozobo. Of which a copy was sent to Coastal Times.
Ozobo in the statement, called on Ijaw leaders to step into the issue, by taking proactive measures in order to rescue the displaced refugees.
Comrade Ozobo, also called on the Lagos State Government to with immediate effect, provide relief efforts for all displaced Ijaws, in view of resettling them. Else, witness a reciprocal attack against the Yorubas dwelling in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States.
The statement reads:
Our attention has been drawn to the unlawful and barbaric demolition of Takwa Bay Island, an Ijaw settlement in Lagos by the government of the state. We describe the invasion and demolition as another conspiracy against indigenous Ijaws in Lagos State.
On a quick note, we hereby call on Ijaw Political leaders across Niger Delta, especially the state governor of Bayelsa state His Excellency Seriake Dickson, Deputy Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, the deputy governor ,Rivers State, Her Execellency Mrs Ipalibo Gogo Banigo, Deputy Governor Ondo state, His Execellency Agboola Ajayi and others to swing into action and urgently rescue and resettle every Ijaw sons and daughters displaced in Lagos.
We describe this attack on the Ijaws as a ploy to tactically evacuate indigenous Ijaws in Lagos State from their original abode, and we are not surprise about it. Ijaw in Lagos is as old as the Yorubas in Lagos State. Ijaws have been there from time immemorial, and it is an insult on the Ijaws to be evacuated as strangers. We are not strangers in where we found ourselves in Lagos and Ogun states.
This is meant to intimidate and provoke Ijaws in diaspora. This is provocative and inciting as it is barbaric and unconstitutional. The Lagos State government lacks the Constitutional backing to demolition and evacuate an ancient Ijaw settlement in the state. We will challenge the action of Lagos State Government in competent court of jurisdiction.
We are calling on Lagos State Government to provide a relief efforts for all displaced Ijaws in a view of resettling them, if he doesn’t want an attack against the Yorubas settling in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states.
Comrade Ozobo Austin
National president Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI.