Citing absence of proper investigation by the security agencies, foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday said it was premature to conclude that Niger Delta militants were responsible for the recent invasion of Lagos and Ogun states communities last week leaving many dead and injured.
To douse the tension, Yoruba and Ijaw leaders are planning a summit for July 1 in Lagos.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Chief Clark confirmed the planned meeting, saying, “There would be a summit of the Ijaw and Yoruba leaders on Friday at The Eko Hotels and Suites to discuss and douse the tension between the Yoruba and the Ijaw people.
According to the elder statesman, “The leaderships of the two nations have agreed to meet to douse the tension arising from the killings in the Ogun and Lagos communities. In the first place, it is totally wrong for the security agents or anybody to conclude that Ijaw or Niger Delta militants were responsible for the killings without proper investigations. The Federal Government should investigate the matter properly before the security agents would come out to issue statement and or blame anybody.”
Clark debunked insinuations that the two ethnic nationalities might have lost confidence in the Nigerian state: “No we have not lost confidence in the country. On the contrary, what we are simply trying to achieve is to avert problem. There are several crises in the country already. We wouldn’t want any crisis between the Ijaw and Yoruba people.”
National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin on behalf of Chief Reuben Fasoranti said the two ethnic groups have agreed that a joint consultative meeting must hold quickly to nip the crisis in the bud and reaffirm the joint humanity of both nations against wanton destruction of human lives symbolised by the atrocious carnage.
Afenifere’s statement partly reads: “Towards this end, an emergency summit of the two nations will hold in Lagos on Friday, July 1.2016 but in the meantime the leaders appealed to peoples of the two nations to sustain their existing peace.”
Meanwhile, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), in a statement by its spokesperson, Sina Akinpelu yesterday condemned the incessant attacks on its people by the hoodlums, describing the killing and maiming of innocent persons in Yoruba communities as callous.
While restating the Yoruba race’s commitment to peace, Akinpelu called on perpetrators as well as those aspiring to attack Yorubaland or its interests to have a rethink warning that that there would be immediate and far-reaching reprisals if such continues.