A former member of the Delta Waterways Security Committee, DWSC, Warri, Delta State and ex-Itsekiri militant, Comrade Omolubi Newuwumi, aka ‘Gentle General’, has warned the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, to desist from bombing oil and gas installations in Itsekiri territory or face a confrontation with the Itsekiri people.
Newuwumi, who is an Itsekiri version of Ijaw‘s Tompolo, spoke to Niger Delta Voice saying:
“The bombing of oil and gas facilities in Itsekiri territory is absurd; it is an act capable of provoking the Itsekiri nation and personalities like me. I am categorically saying that if they continue, they may force us, Itsekiri, to protect our territory, especially if the present administration fails in their responsibilities to protect lives and properties.”
“We will be prepared to assist the government to end the bombings of oil installations in our area just like the role of the civilian JTF in the north, which has yielded successful results. As I said before, the destruction caused us by the Ijaw, which wanted to wipe us (Itsekiri) from the earth’s surface is still there, years after the crisis ended.
“The memories are still fresh in our mind for those of us who lived to tell the sad tales of woes and wanton destruction and killings in our communities. We will not fold our hands this time to let them destroy us as they did before.
“The then federal and state governments failed to protect us from the Ijaw until we decided to take our own destiny into our hands and defend ourselves. I just hope this present government will not abandon us to our fate.”
According to Newuwumi, the only reason why Itsekiri people were not drawing attention to themselves like the NDA was because they were peaceful people. Hear him:
“Itsekiri people are a group of intellectuals, peace -loving and law- abiding people, hence carrying guns is not a way of life for them. If you look at history, you will find out that it was an Itsekiri man, the late Justice Atake that first started the intellectual struggle for resource control even before Ken Saro Wiwa.
“So the struggle is not a new thing for us, it is just that we are not used to militancy, kidnapping and other forms of criminality in our fight for true federalism and equality for the region. Anyway, we are soon coming out with a formidable platform to tackle all these issues because the Itsekiri have kept silent for a while now.
The former Commissioner for Youths in Delta State claimed that the Niger Delta Avengers is merely a group established to frustrate the government of Buhari. He described them as “faceless, senseless and partisan in nature, and an orchestrated attempt devised by corrupt individuals and politicians to frustrate the present administration’s resolve and determination to fight corruption in the country”.