Crisis looming in Delta over FG dredging project


By Emmanuel Ogogbe, Warri

A group under the auspices of the Concerned Ilaje Coastal Communities, CICC in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State has warned the Federal Government that the exclusion of Ilaje people from the engagement of communities in the execution of dredging of the Escravos, Warri River by the Itsekiri and Ijaws will cause serious crisis that cannot be handled in the region.

The group handed down the warning in an “Open Letter” to President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that a Coalition of Itsekiri and Ijaws wherein they demanded for the engagement of communities in the project base their action on media publications

The letter, which was signed by the National President of Concerned Coastal Ilaje Communities, Mr. Felix. M. Iyamolere explained that the Federal Government set up an investigating team and also conducted the Environmental Impact Assessments,(EIA)’s of the Escravos bar-Warri dredging in order to halt the alleged unholy neglects, deprivation and marginalization of Ilaje youths through the Itsekiri and Ijaw Coalition.

 Iyamolere expressed dissatisfaction over the non-inclusion of the Ilaje in the said publication by a Coalition of Ijaws and Itsekiri especially without considering them.

 He therefore viewed the Ijaw and Itsekiri Coalition as a means of disenfranchise them as well as misinformed the world that they are the only two ethnic/stakeholders along the Escravos-Warri River stressing,” A false information.

“We are three ethnic groups/stakeholders in Warri South-West Local Government Area, let the world know.

” Your Excellency, this brazen alliance or coalition of practice by Itsekiri and Ijaw youths without due considerations of the Ilaje youths as one among the Stakehikders/ethnic group in Warri South-West call for proper investigation.

 While noting that there are three major ethnic groups/ Stakeholders in Warri South-West including the Itsekiri, Ilaje and Ijaws, Iyamolere said the Ilaje people are hospitable and very law abiding citizens.

Iyamolere said,” This deliberate act of side-lining and deprivation of Ilaje youths could provoke restiveness” in the terrain during the dredging project

  “We both live together as neighbours and suffer the same chronic ecological and negative hazardous adverse effects and unwanted hardship of the various multinational companies in the domain.

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