The umbrella body of Niger Delta youth group Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has frowned at continued linkage of the Ijaw ethnic nationality to criminal activities taking place in Ikorodu, Lagos State and some communities in Ogun State which it has described as a deliberate ploy by some highly placed persons to paint the Ijaw ethnic nationality in bad light so as to justify the evil they are planning against the Ijaw people.
According to Eric Omare, IYC spokesman, the idea is to make Ijaw people look like enemies in the eyes of all their neighbors in the southern part of the country.
"The latest of this orchestrated plan is the accusation of Ijaw militants for carrying out the Sunday, July 24, 2016, kidnap of a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mr. Bajomo,at Santos Bus Stop Ikorodu, Lagos State by unknown gunmen.
"According to the news by Punch Newspaper and other newspapers that after the kidnappers had left, it was discovered that they were Ijaw militants. The questions that readily come to mind are: how did they know that they were Ijaw militants? Was anybody arrested? Who among the kidnappers confessed that they are Ijaw militants? Did the kidnappers identify themselves as Ijaw militants while carrying out their criminal activity? These and other questions beg for answer.
"We reinstate our call for criminals to be treated as criminals without any ethnic coloration. What is happening in parts of Lagos and Ogun States are cases of criminality and they should be treated as such without bringing in the Ijaw ethnic nationality into it. Those referring to them as Ijaw militants are deliberately laying a foundation for an inter-ethnic clash between Ijaw people and their neighbors in southern Nigeria. The IYC strongly call on the media to guide against being used to set the stage for unnecessary inter-ethnic clash between the Ijaws and their neighbors. Media practitioners must display the highest level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties," the group said in its statement.
The Ijaw ethnic nationality condemns criminality in the strongest terms and calls on security agencies to bring to justice the perpetrators of the criminal activities in Ikorodu and parts of Ogun State.