Itsekiri Survival Movement Reports
URHOBO ATTACK ON
This is not the first attack on Ajagbodudu. On Christmas eve of 1997, Urhobos attacked the town destroying 30 buildings and properties estimated at millions of niara while over 1000 people were rendered homeless. Itsekiris are weary of the intermittent pogroms waged against them by their larger ethnic neighbours - the Urhobos and Ijaws.
Open hostility towards, and violent attacks on the Itsekiri, their property and institutions by some Urhobos and lately Ijaws have been the most significant feature of Delta State since it was created. It seems that the prime motive of the Urhobos in supporting the creation of Delta State in which the Urhobos would constitute the dominant single ethnic group, was the opportunity the new state would afford them to stage a final face-off with the Itsekiri over the ownership of the Itsekiri homeland.
Not surprisingly, Governor James Ibori of Delta State,
an Urhobo, has remained mute about this attack on the Itsekiris. This can
only be viewed as encouragement to those from his ethnic group who are
committed to using violence as a means of gaining ascendancy over the Itsekiris
and to over-turn long established legal decisions and vested legal rights.
Governor James Ibori is clearly the governor who bows to violence. The
records show that Itsekiris cannot expect justice, freedom from intimidation
and fair play in Delta State
We appeal to all Nigerians and the international community to condemn outright the attacks on Itsekiri communities by the Urhobos, and to demand an immediate halt to this inhumane act. Please contact President Obasanjo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Governor James Ibori of Delta state and tell them to stand up to their responsibilities and safeguard Itsekiri lives and property.