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Escravos Dredging: Exclusion Of Ilaje By Ijaws, Itsekiri Will Cause Crisis, Ilaje Community Tells FG




A group under the auspices of Concerned Ilaje Coastal Communities (CICC) in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, recently warned the Federal Government that the exclusion of Ilaje people from the engagement of communities in the execution of the dredging of Escravos, Warri River, by the Itsekiri and Ijaws will result to serious crisis in the region that cannot be handled.
The group handed down the warning in an “Open Letter” to President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is based on media publications by a Coalition of Itsekiri and Ijaw indigenes wherein they demanded for the engagement of communities in the dredging of the Escravos-Warri River without the inclusion of the Ilaje Communities.
The letter which was signed by the National President of Concerned Coastal Ilaje Communities, Mr. Felix.M. Iyamolere demanded that the Federal Government set up an investigating team as well as conduct the Environmental Impact Assessments, EIA’s of the Escravos bar-Warri dredging in other to halt the alleged unholy neglects, deprivation and marginalization of Ilaje youths through the Itsekiri and Ijaw Coalition.
Iyamolere expressed dissatisfaction over the non-inclusion of the Ilaje in the said publication by a Coalition of Ijaws and Itsekiri especially without considerations as well as entension of fellowship to them.
He viewed the Ijaw and Itsekiri Coalition as a means to disenfranchise them as well as misinform the world that they are the only two ethnic/stakeholders along the Escravos-Warri River.
“We are three ethnic groups/stakeholders in Warri South-West Local Government Area, let the world know.
The letter read in part: “Your Excellency, this brazen alliance or coalition of practices indulge into by Itsekiri and Ijaw youths without due considerations of Ilaje youths as one among the Stakehokders/ethnic group in Warri South-West calls for proper scrutinization, deliberation and investigation which we(Ilaje believe that they (Itsekiri and Ijaw) youths want to discredit us by giving the ilaje Youths a bad name to scuttle ilaje youths from the dredging project execution.”
While noting that there are three major ethnic groups/ Stakeholders in Warri South-West said that the Ilaje people are hospitable and very law abiding citizens.
Iyamolere added: “This deliberate act of sidetracking, sidelining and deprivation of ilaje youths could provoke and give rise to”youth restiveness” in the terrain during Escravos-Warri dredging project execution which we (Ilaje youths) are trying to guard against. Hence, this, necessitated us(Ilaje Youths) to alert both Federal and State Governments to call to order/caution those who are involved.
“We both live together as neighbours and suffers the same chronic ecological and negative hazardous adverse effects as well as same neglects, deprivations and unwanted hardship by the various multinational companies in the domain.
“The negative adverse effects of one amongst the three stakeholders is the same. But the Ilaje’s negative adverse effects of the various chronic ecological and hazardous operation activities of multinational companies are at high risk than the others.”
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