The Delta State Police Command has recovered corpses of Itsekiri youths alleged killed by the Egbema Ijaws last week during a bloody confrontation between the Ijaws and Itsekiri in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta state over political slots.
As we have previously reported, the crisis has arisen over which group next occupies the position of the council chairman, which has always been enjoyed by the Itsekiris, prompting the Egbema Ijaws to insist that it is their turn to produce the next occupant.
Impecable sources in the LGA disclosed that several Itsekiri villages, including Gbokoda, Udo, Ajamita, Obaghoro and Ayerode-Zion on the Benin river axis, were razed down while several Itsekiris lost their lives.
The Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) had alleged that13 persons were killed by the irate Ijaw youths. Our correspondent learnt that the corpses of the victims retrieved from the various communities that were attacked by the Ijaw youths were handed over to the police on Monday while others that were burnt and buried by the attackers were also exhumed.
Addressing his kinsmen who besieged his Warri residence, the chairman of the INYC, Hon David Tonwe, appealed for peace.
“We have lost 13 of our brothers and sisters; let's all ensure that it does not escalate,” he said. “We have just come out from crisis (referring to the violence) and we are not prepared to take that road again. Nobody who witnessed that crisis would encourage what just happened. So, I want to appeal to everybody to remain calm and hope that the law will take its course."
Meanwhile, an Ijaw group under the auspices of the Ijaw people Development Initiative (IPDI), has called for a rotational arrangement to end the impasse over the chairmanship seat.
In a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Austin Ozobo, BoT Chairman, Cletus Itari and its Secretary, Mr. Peter Luke, the group urged Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to adopt the arrangement in all political offices including State House Assembly and commissionership positions. They pointed out that a similar arrangement obtains in the Warri South West and other places, as a way of ensuring lasting peace among Itsekiri and Ijaws in Warri and its environs.
Impeccable sources within the Delta State government have told our correspondent that Governor Uduaghan has slated a roundtable meeting with the two warring communities for tomorrow at the Government House annex, Warri, in an effort to find a lasting solution to the war.