SAPELE— THE Okpe Progressive Movement (OPM) wants the Federal Government and the Delta State authorities to immediately arrest and prosecute the over 300 Itsekiri militants who “invaded some communities in Okpe kingdom, killing seventeen people and injuring three others within 21 days or face the anger of the Okpe.”

Rising from an emergency meeting yesterday following “a fact-finding and assessment tour” of Ugborhen, Ugbukurusu, Ikeresan and Igbeku all Okpe communiteis attacked by Itsekiri youths between January 17 and 18, 2004, the OPM said it had come to the “inevitable conclusion that the Itskeiri who caused the heinous crime against the Okpe who have provided shelter to them for many years must be reminded that they have exhausted the patience of the Okpe who are their hosts.

“We must state that the OPM, has consulted with prominent natives on this unprovoked attack and give our full support to the position of the Okpe Council of Chiefs and “Udogun” who have vowed to protect lives and properties of all in Okpe kingdom,” the group said.

It asked Okpe communities to “act within the law and protect the land of their forefathers against the Itsekiri and their collaborators with expansionist interest,” adding that “Okpe Kingdom and Itsekiri have no common land boundaries anywhere. All lands and communities in the two local government areas of Sapele and Okpe are in Okpe Kingdom. There are no indigenous Itsekiri or home lands in Okpe kingdom, but Itsekiri residents who the Okpe, in their magnimity have accommodated for many years.”

WARRI— GOVERNOR James Ibori of Delta State declared yesterday that his administration would endorse the outcome of the peace discussion currently going on among the major tribes on the Warri crisis with Prof. Victor Peretomode, NDDC Commissioner representing Delta State describing the fighting in Warri as "dog-eat-dog" situation.
Speaking at the opening of a seminar on the Warri crisis at the Petroleum Training Institute organized by the National Orientation Agency, Governor Ibori said “I have been in the thick and thin of the Warri crisis since assumption of office. I want to say that the last one month has witnessed renewed confrontation which is not a welcome development.
“At the same time, I want to thank very profusely, our elders who have been meeting presently to achieve peace. I am aware that they now meet almost every day to try to sort out the problems internally. I want to assure that whatever peaceful resolution that evolves from the brotherly meetings, I (Ibori) will support it", he said.
Regretting the continuation of the crisis, Chief Ibori said “we all know our problems. We believe we can solve them. Nobody will come from outside to solve our problems for us. And after that, the security agencies will pounce on all those that have criminalised the situation by looting and robbing people.”
The governor then advised the various tribes in Warri to unite and work towards peace so that development plans of both the Federal and State Governments for Warri would see the light of day.

No peace,
no development

On his part, Prof. Victor Peretomode noted that “without peace, no development, no progress will come to Warri. Warri situation is a question of dog eating dog because the people are killing and maiming themselves instead of uniting to fight a common cause.
“God made no mistake in joining us, the Itsekiri, the Ijaw and the Urhobo, Isoko and other tribes together in Delta State. On one hand, we are saying our area has been criminally neglected. On another hand, we are wickedly criminalizing the problem by fighting each other and preventing development from spreading to Warri.”

Explaining that Delta State is the number one oil bearing state in the country, the NDDC Commissioner said, “but we cannot have the goodies with that position with regards to projects execution because we are not united. For instance, we are planning 100 projects for Delta State particularly Warri, but our NDDC officials can not go to the communities to get diagrams and other necessities due to violent behaviour of our people. We are kicking against our own development."
Also speaking at the occasion, Rev. Father Isaac Eghiagbe called on both the Federal and State Governments to show more sensitivity towards resolving the Warri crisis.
According to him “peace cannot exist when in their stomach there is no food and they are told to smile and rejoice. What is happening is that human beings are carrying out jungle justice on themselves as if we are animals.
“Without peace, we will hate our tribes and other ethnic groups. We should rise beyond tribe and ethnicity to march forward because two wrongs cannot make a right and no amount of war can solve the problems of Warri."

WARRI— The Itsekiri said yesterday that they were still discussing the announcement by Delta State Government that there would be no council elections in the three Warri Local Government areas of the State. Leader of the group at the 14-man committee of the Ijaw-Itsekiri ethnic resolution group, Chief Isacc Jemide in a statement, also said the decision to cancel the elections in Warri was solely that of the State Government.
Said he: “we hereby wish to correct the statement credited to the Commissioner for Special Duties and Ethnic Relations, Mr. Ovuozorie Macaulay that the decision to shelve elections in the three Warri Local Governments was taken by a 14-man committee of the two ethnic groups and to say emphatically that the Commissioner’s statement is untrue.
“The 14-man committee did not take such a decision and the written report of the committee submitted to the bigger peace groups contains this position. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Macaulay announced at the Ijaw-Itsekiri meeting of 27th January, 2004 that government had taken a decision to withhold local government elections in the three Warri local governments until the peace talks between Ijaw and Itsekiri are concluded.”
Chief Jemide said that the Special Adviser did not call for a debate on the issue, rather, “he simply passed the information as a state government decision.
"We therefore call on the commissioner as a matter of great importance and urgency to correct the statement and put the records straight."as such a misrepresentation could have adverse effects on confidence building at the peace talks", Chief Jemide said.
On the postponed elections itself, Chief Jemide said, “Itsekiri are deliberating on the Delta State government’s position on the issue of local government elections in the three Warri local government areas, and will soon declare their stand on the matter."

WARRI— An Itsekiri group, the Warri Rights Group (WRG) has appealed to the Delta State Government to constitute a high-powered judicial commission of enquiry to determine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis between the Obontie and Ugbukurusu, adding that whatever action government planned to take in the direction “must be preceded by strategies to reconcile the peoples of Obontie and Ugbukurusu.”
The group in a statement in Koko, by its Secretary-General, Mr. Ayoro Nanna said “it is when such steps are taken towards reconciling both groups that any rebuilding and resettlement can be guaranteed. Anything contrary will promote the conditions of crises in the two communities.”
Nanna said that “now that the Delta State Government is to resettle the people of Ugbukurusu because of the retaliatory action of the people of Obontie, how would the government want its present action to be interpreted by the people of Obontie, history and civilised humanity at large.”
He said in the name of justice, the Delta State Government should not only be fair but seen to be fair to both warring groups. His words: “In this direction, it should treat the people of Obontie not as outcasts that deserve their present tragedy but as people whose community has been destroyed in the manner that Ugbukurusu has been destroyed, and thus equally deserve the mercy of the Delta State Government in a manner that the people of Ugbukurusu are due to enjoy,” he said.
On Saturday January 17, 2003, the town of Ugbukurusu was attacked by the people of Obontie, an attack which has limitlessly been condemned by the different leadership strata of the Itsekiri. “Our condemnation of this attack is based on our firm belief that two wrongs do not make a right, and that the principle of violence and counter-violence must not be conferred with legitimacy.
“For us in Warri Rights Group, we hold the Delta State Government absolutely responsible for this recent crisis between the people of Obontie and Ugbukurusu. Its inaction since 2001 which amounts to political and moral irresponsibility has inadvertently and inexorably created and sustained the necessary conditions for this recent crisis.”
Nanna said now that the government is to resettle the people of Ugbukurusu and rebuild the community; “what then precludes the same gesture from being extended to the people of Obontie? In the name of justice, the Delta State Government should not only be fair but seen to be fair to both warring groups.”

WARRI—The Delta State House of Assembly said yesterday that it was ready to support the Governor James Ibori administration in dealing with those identified as sponsors of ethnic crises in the state.
Already the Joint Security Task Force, Operation Restore Hope is on the trail of a middle aged man (names withheld) linked with the sponsorship of the recent clash in Sapele area of the State between Obontie (Itsekiri Community) and Ugbukurusu (Okpe-Urhobo Community) last week.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Warri, member representing Warri South-West constituency, Mr. Daniel Mayuku said the resurgent clashes and the frequency they were assuming were worrisome. He said they (House) agreed with Governor James Ibori that these attacks were politically-motivated “because we could not find any cause whatsoever.

"Like me, I am maternally from Okpe, so the Okpe and the Itsekiri have always been friendly to one another. I see no reason for the attack.”
Mayuku stated the House in condemning the attack has assured the state government of its readiness to assist in arresting and prosecuting those alleged sponsors of such attacks.
Just as men of the Joint Security Task Force, Operation Task Force, Operation Restore Hope, are on the trail of a politician allegedly involved in the Okpe/Itsekiri clash in Sapele.
Our sources revealed that the man allegedly doled out the sum N.5 million to some Itsekiri youths and Urhobo to engage each other in the clash that saw no fewer than 25 persons dead. The man, sources said, is presently on the run, but “the soldiers are on his track to locate him and bring him in for interrogation.”
In a related development, the Okpe traditional council yesterday described the attack on their people, as “a betrayal of trust”, maintaining that the Itsekiri had no land in Okpe land. According to the Senior Okakuro of Okpe traditional council, Chief Patrick Gbinije, the attack was a betrayal to the peace accord signed between them in 1998.

Asaba— DELTA State Governor, Chief James Ibori has mandated Urhobo leaders to intervene in the ongoing crisis between the Itsekiri and Urhobo at Okpe which has claimed several lives and ravaged some communities. He wants them to urgently reconcile the warring groups in the interest of peace.
Addressing a cross-section of traditional rulers, leaders of thought and chiefs at Oghara, the governor explained that government could only accelerate development and transform the lives of the people in an atmosphere of peace. He has therefore appealed to the Urhobo leaders to “work toward attitudinal change to enable the people embrace peace.”
Chief Ibori described conflicts and crises as aberration and distraction and enjoined Urhobo leaders to unite and form a formidable front to enable them secure the dividends of democracy.
He also used the opportunity to charge Urhobo political office holders to render quality service to the people and sustain the tempo of development “because, one day, you would give account of your stewardship and answer questions in the peoples’ court.”
Responding, the President-General of Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), Chief Benjamin Okumagba pledged that they would heed the governor’s charge. He also asked the Urhobo political office holders to be outstanding and render quality and selfless service to the people.

WARRI— The Itsekiri have appealed to people of goodwill in Nigeria and abroad to come to their aid in the face of alleged threats from the Ijaw. Spokesman for the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC), Mr. Matthew Itsekure in a statement, claimed that the Ijaw were preparing to launch another round of attacks on the Itsekiri ahead of the forthcoming local government elections. Itsekure said that “each time we are trying to hold the local government elections in Warri, the Ijaw are always trying to stop the exercise,” saying: “On Sunday, January 25, 2004 at about 2.00 a.m., Ode-Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area came under heavy military attack from the militia of the Ijaws.

"The relentless heavy bombardment which lasted for about four hours sent fears and panic into Warri main town. As at 9.00 a.m. this morning, (yesterday) we had counted eight dead and three injured. The dead were made up of five women and three men. As at this moment, 11 persons including five children are still missing. A search party has since been combing the surrounding bushes to see if they are still alive.

Itsekure said that “this lat est attack is quite disturbing particularly when one considers the fact that tomorrow, the representatives of the Itsekiri and the Ijaw will again meet to further their discussions on how to achieve peace. What this latest attack signifies is that the Ijaw are merely buying time to further replenish their armoury.”

He said the Itsekiri are now very worried that all the efforts put in by the Itsekiri for this latest “talks” might not yield any result, adding that “we are being deceived by the Delta State Government that has put in place this present discussion. We are sad that for these hours that the people of Ode-Itsekiri were subjected to this barbaric attack in continuation of the Ijaw war of genocide against the Itsekiris, men of “Operation Restore Hope,” commanded by Brig.-Gen. Elias Zamani, kept their distance as if the Ijaw attack got their blessing.”

ASABA— Secretary to the Government of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has raised an alarm over the recent outbreak of hostilities in Okpe, saying that it was a calculated attempt by some mischief makers to drag the Urhobo into the Warri crisis, and generate bad blood between him (SSG), an Itsekiri man and the state governor, Chief James Ibori, an Urhobo.
He, however, said that he had resigned his fate to God because he is purely innocent and had no hands in the ongoing hostilities between the Itsekiri and Urhobo in which several lives have been lost.
Speaking to Vanguard in his office, the SSG said that “in taking up this appointment, I took a lot of things into consideration; both the ethnic crisis that was there even before I was born, I took a lot of things into consideration being a native of an ethnic group involved (in the crisis), I just told myself and my God that in taking my decisions, in trying to restore peace that I will remain rooted to fairness and I have stuck to that and it is only God that knows the heart of man.

"But you see, in so doing”, he went on “people have also become so mischievious to the extent that we now have fifth columnists all over the place planning or trying to drag my name into all sorts of things. A few days ago, certain things (Okpe crisis) happened and certain mischievious persons I dont know whom they are are, have tried to drag Urhobo into this crisis. For some time now, there have been crises between Ijaw and Itsekiri. They have tried to drag Urhobo in and the plan in dragging Urhobo in is to hit at myself and the governor. And it is so bad that even the two places they went to, they went to Oghareki and kidnapped an Oghara boy (Ibori’s home town) and went to attack Okpe villages. “These are incidents", he went on "that should be condemned because we have tried to curtail the crisis (Warri) as much as possible. Now people are using it for politics; they are using it for their wicked machinations and when this happens, they want to link me in any way.
“When they attack Ijaw”, he continued, “they want to bring Dr. Uduaghan in because Uduaghan is an Itsekiri and when they carry out their mischief among the Urhobo area, they want to bring Dr. Uduaghan in."

Govt calls for ceasefire in Okpe

Meanwhile, the state government has called for cessation of hostilities in the area, warning that, “it would no longer tolerate lawlessness and undue resort to arms in any form”.
The state government in a statement signed by the state Deputy Governor, Chief Benjamin Elue in Asaba yesterday reacting to the recent clash between the Ugbukurusu (Okpe) community and the Itsekiri of Obontie community both in Okpe local government area of the state, described it as “unnecessary and avoidable.”
The statement therefore called on the two communities to “withdraw their youths immediately and down their arms."
 as government is already looking into the immediate and remote causes of the problem.

THE Itsekiri have dissociated themselves from the attack on Ugbukurusu by Obontie natives, describing it as a shameless incident and appealed to the Okpe people to consider it as an isolated case. Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC), Mr. Matthew Itsekure said, “we hereby dissociate ourselves, the elders and the entire Itsekiri nation from this condemnable act of a few misguarded Obontie natives. We cannot accept any excuse from the Obontie people. We appeal to the entire Okpe people to take this shameless incident as an isolated event which must not be allowed to rub on the age-long beautiful relationship between our peoples and nations.”
The Itsekiri said that they have no problems with the Urhobo, particularly the Okpe of Sapele, who they claimed have been good hosts to them since the Warri crisis which began in 1997 when Ijaw invaded Itsekiri towns and villages and ransacked the Itsekiri.
Itsekure said, “there is no problem between the Itsekiri and the Urhobo, particularly the Okpe. We have no problem with them, it is all rumours.”
“The Itsekiri and the Okpe have been living together for a very long time. So I advise the Urhobo to disregard the rumour that is building up the tension because we are peace-loving people,” he said.
He said that it is the desire of every Itsekiri man that the peace between the Itsekiri and their Urhobo counterparts remained, adding that “rumours going round is calculated to shift the focus from Ijaw/Itsekiri crisis in Warri.”
Itsekure said “the Itsekiri National Youths Council hereby expresses its sympathy and condolences to the people of Ugbukurusu in particular and the Okpe in general,” and called on the government of Delta State not to allow the incident go uninvestigated and all culprits punished."
He said: “we have just received the report of the mis-guarded and irresponsible attack on the town of Ugbukurusu (an Okpe town) in the Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State in the early hours of 17 January, 2004. The attack, from information available to us was carried out by hooligans and miscreants from Obontie (a predominantly Itsekiri community with high inter-marriage with the Okpe) also in the Okpe Local Government Area.
“It is true that the crises between both communities dated back to 2001 which resulted into the total destruction of Obontie by those from Ugbukurusu such that all the natives of Obontie were driven into exile and have been living in exile till now. It is no doubt a sad situation which requires dialogue and reconciliation and not retaliatory attack which in the final analysis will only heighten tension and consequently prevent the much-needed reconciliation. Particularly, the Itsekiri National Youth Council will want to place on record the fact that the hostile relationship between the Okpe of Ugbukurusu and the Itsekiri of Obontie have been an isolated event which in our view would have been healed and resolved with time.”
Itsekure said, “specifically it is on record that the Okpe nation has been playing the role of host to hundreds of thousands of displaced Itsekiris as a result of the current Ijaw war."
of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Itsekiris. This explains the high presence of Itsekiri refugees in Sapele, Elume,and a hosts of Itsekiri settlements in Okpe land. This is a relationship we are not prepared to compromise as a result of the actions of a few mis-guarded individuals and criminals.”
“We hereby dissociate ourselves, the elders and the entire Itsekiri nation from this condenmable act of a few mis-guarded Obontie indigenes. We cannot accept any excuse from the Obontie people. We appeal to the entire Okpe people to take this shameless incident as an isolated event which must not be allowed to rub on the age-long beautiful relationship be between our peoples and nations.”
“We hereby call on the government of Delta State not to allow this incident go un-investigated and all culprits punished.” 

WARRI— The death toll in the fighting that broke out between the Urhobo of Ugbukurusu (Okpe) community and the Itsekiri of Obontie community, yesterday rose to 25 following an escalation of the fighting. Already the Joint Security Task Force for the Niger Delta “Operation Restore Hope” headed by Brig. Gen. Elias Zamani has deployed trucks load of soldiers and mobile policemen to the zone to check the warring groups.
According to eye witness accounts in Sapele, the fighting which started last Friday night between the two communities over land dispute in the villages soon spread like wild fire when news got to town that Itsekiri and Okpe Urhobo were killing each other.
As soon as the news of the fighting got into town, Itsekiri and Urhobo in the town took up arms against one another burning houses and destroying property belonging to one another as well as engaging themselves in gun battles.
Earlier on Friday, Vanguard had gathered that the fighting erupted when the Itsekiri of Obontie in whose community oil was discovered in year 2001, were prevented from going back to their community by the Okpe Urhobo of Ugbukrusu community leading to the death of about ten people on both sides.
Sources told Vanguard that Itsekiri youths of Obontie whose relations had been forced to flee their homes by the Urhobo, had attempted to go back to Obontie to carry out rehabilitation works on some of their damaged buildings for their relations to return.

The Urhobo were said to have expressed suspicion on their intentions, they subsequently alerted their elders and mobilized to challenge the Itsekiri youths.
The source claimed that on seeing the Urhobo, the Itsekiri called for a truce and explained that they were there for peace and to see how they could repair their damaged properties to enable their kith and kin return home.
The argument that ensued later, was said to have degenerated with dangerous weapons, inluding guns and machettes freely used.
It would be recalled that both Obontie (Itsekiri) community and Ugbukrusu (Urhobo) community first had a major disagreement in 2001 when oil was found in the Itsekiri community with the Urhobo laying claim to the land. A bitter fight led to the destruction of most of the houses in Obontie and its people fleeing their homes and the community.
Since then, the Itsekiri of Obontie have been living like refugees outside their community as any attempt made by them to return home is usually met with stiff resistance from the Urhobo of Ugbukrusu who have vowed to take control of the lands.
Vanguard also gathered that in year 2002, a similar attempt by the Itsekiri to return home was violently prevented by the Urhobo.

Itsekiri leaders chide Obonte youths

Meanwhile, Itsekiri leaders yesterday condemned last weekend upsurge of hostilities between Okpe-Urhobo of Ugbukurusu community and the Itsekiri of Obontie community in Sapele describing it as “unnecessary” and “retrogressive.”
According to the Itsekiri leaders, Chief Isaac Jemide and Mr. J.O.S. Ayomike in Warri yesterday, the clash between the two communities could destroy the cordial relationship built by them over the years.
They said “our stand on the clash is to condemn the aggressor, which in this case is Obontie. We are aware that we, the Itsekiri, have a good and excellent relationship with Okpe – Urhobo and we must keep it at that always.

“We know that a great number of Itsekiri live in Sapele and that they have over the years maintained a good relationship with their host. We call on them to maintain peace, and call on the security agencies to live up to their responsibility by arresting and prosecuting those involved in the attack.”

WARRI—The displaced Itsekiri of the three Warri local government areas have expressed their desire to go back to their various towns and villages which they deserted as a result of the Ijaw invasion, to start their lives over again, saying that “this issue is very paramount to the Itsekiris,” and wondered whether the Warri waterways were closed to only the Itsekiris. In a statement by Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC) Chairman, Press and Media Committee, Mr. Matthew Itsekure, the Itsekiris said, “our plea now is that our displaced people are itching to go back to their homes and start life all over again,” adding that each time an attempt is made to return, “the Ijaws have refused through military attacks.”
“We have lost umpteen numbers of persons to this effort. We want to go back to our communities. It is a task that we cannot compromise as we shall never cede an inch of our land to our tenants. Whether the Ijaws like it or not, at God’s own time, we shall go back and reclaim all our lands,” they said. The statement further said that the Itsekiris are wondering if the the Warri waterways are closed to only the Itsekiris, because the “Ijaws are busy patrolling the waterways as if the Joint Security Task Force, Operation Restore Hope, headed by Brig.-Gen. Elias Zamani are not there.”

And reacting to the claim of Ijaw leader, Chief E. K. Clark that the Itsekiris are misinforming the outside world over the true situation in Warri, Itsekure advised the Ijaws to ignore Chief Clark, and “look inwards into the contributions of two Ijaw sons, Chief E. E. Ebimami and Chief Okrika, are making towards peace in Warri.” Itsekure also said that the displaced Itsekiris are dying because of the change of environment, “so our people want to go their various homes.”

WARRI— The Itsekiri said yesterday that the Ijaw in Warri were not saying the truth when they said that 20 of their members were killed penultimate Thursday on the Benin River. The Itsekiri said rather, it was 19 defenceless Itsekiri made up of 10 males, seven children and two aged women that were massacred by the Ijaw.
The Itsekiri gave the names of those killed as Onuwaje Waide, Eyinmisan Dorsu, Atsetosan Oluyibo, Kpone Ejoh, Keke Uwala, Lucky Abede, Tuoyo Abietan, Tiyan Okosu, Okpogo Eyelusan, Comfort Inomibighan, Cecilia Kpoto and Vero Omayemi. Others are Mary Kporfor, Richard Jenjen, Moses Tsaninomi, Eremoje Tenuma, Tseke Toritseju, Clifford Magbeyi and Toukpe Omamuli.
Addressing newsmen on what it called “New Dimension of Propaganda by the Ijaw National Council”, spokesman for the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC), Mr. Matthew Itsekure said that on Thursday, January 8, 2004 at about 3:00pm, some unsuspecting Itsekiri who managed to make their way back home were attacked and brutally murdered while on a minor fishing expedition for daily sustenance.

Survivor's account

"The only survivor who was under intensive care for two days, Mr. Ajobite Oghomeje said he and the deceased persons were in different canoes when they were interrupted by a speed boat conveying armed men in military uniform. “As it turned out, the unsuspecting fishermen mistook the Ijaw militia for men of the Operation Restore Hope and waved at them. The response was a staccato of automatic rifles. The spraying was indiscriminate, a few initially survived since they dived into the water and hid under the mangrove external roots with various degrees of injury.
“As at Friday, January 9, 2004, we confirmed the death of 19 and as at two days ago, Tuesday, January 13, 2004, we were still searching for one Miss Esete Uromashoma and we presume that the missing lady would be dead by now.
“The corpses recovered so far have been buried in bushes nearest to where such corpses were found in accordance with Itsekiri customs and traditions, since such corpses can not be taken to human settlements.”
The Itsekiri National Youth Council said, “these unending killings of Itsekiri can not but be some of the actualization of the boast of one Chief (names withheld) that the Ijaw will continue to unleash violence on the Itsekiri.”, adding “A serious government should have long brought the Ijaw Chief to face the law.” This will never happen in a country like ours; moreso in Delta State where the government has never seen anything wrong in the Ijaw progrom, genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Itsekiri.

“To the Ijaw, everything in Warri kingdom can collapse since they have no stake as they own neither property nor land. They are marine nomads. Wherever they are, such places are always crises prone. Bayelsa and Rivers State are classical examples where the Ijaws have made life unbearable for the law abiding”, the INYC stated.
While pleading that “our displaced people are itching to go back to their homes and start life all over again”, Itsekiri said “each time an attempt is made to return the Ijaw have refused through military attacks. We have lost umpteen numbers of persons to this effort. We want to go back to our communities.
It is a task that we cannot compromise as we shall never cede an inch of our land to our customary tenants whether the Ijaw like it or not, at God’s own time, we shall go back and reclaimed all our lands”.