Group cautions ljaw Freedom Fighters over ultimatum threat to Edo government, monarch

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

• Seeks Buhari’s intervention

A group, Benin Fundamental Movement, has warned the Ijaw Freedom Fighters to desist from their sacrilegious threat to the traditional institution of Benin Kingdom, describing such as invitation to an unending ethnic crisis.

The group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, governors of Bayelsa and Delta states and the international community to quickly prevail on the Ijaw people as any spark of fire by the Ijaw is capable of leading to a national disaster.

In a statement issued yesterday in Benin City by its convener, Edosa Idada, the group said it is instructive to note that the Bini are proudly the most hospitable and receptive socio-ethnic group in sub-Sahara Africa hence, they have continued to accommodate the Ijaw, who remain their customary tenants.

He, however, said that the hurried and illegal creation of an alleged Olodiama Kingdom with a purported coronation of a king (Pere), as well as the 21-day ultimatum slammed on the Oba of Benin and the Edo State Government, coupled with the threat to lay siege on the palace of the Benin monarch and the Edo State Government House are steps taken too far.

Idada noted that it is rather unfortunate that persons who were given opportunity to occupy an area for work and business now claim ownership of same, just as he implored Ijaw leaders to call their Ijaw Freedom Fighters and subjects to order in the interest of peace.

According to him: “Ijaw in Benin are customary tenants. They must remain as such or relocate to their land. We wish to send a very strong warning to the Ijaw to desist from this war and calamitous situation they are about to bring upon themselves. They do not have the monopoly of violence.”

The group, which condemned the purported call by the Ijaw residents in the state demanding an unreserved apology from the Edo State government and the highly revered Oba of Benin over their non-recognition of Olodiama Kingdom with a pseudo King Pere of Olodiama, added: “We will no longer tolerate any act of insubordination and deliberate embarrassment on the Edo State Government and the Oba of Benin by Ijaw people.”

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