Indigenes of Itsekiri extraction of Delta State in their thousands were at the gate of the AIG zone 5 headquarters in Benin City on the morning of Friday, May 7th, 2021, displaying placards with different inscriptions and singing solidarity songs in relation to the kingship tussle in their homeland.
Speaking with the representative of the AIG, Tijjani Momoh, the Public Relations Officer of the zone, the protesters said that they were forced to come out in their numbers to appeal to their leaders and chiefs who have been engrossed in an unending tussle over kingship of the ethnic group to disengage the police from involvement in the matter and return home for its peaceful resolution.
“We are tired and ashamed of the way the media has feasted on the kingship tussle in our homeland(Iwerreland). Every day the pages of newspapers and TV screens is awash with unpalatable stories regarding the tussle.
“We are a peace loving people and we are appealing to our leaders and chiefs to return home for us to resolve the issue amicably.
“The police should please join us in appealing to our leaders and chiefs to return to our homeland and adopt alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method to resolve the issue.
“This kind of crisis is alien to us. We are known to be peace loving and well cultured. We have no partisan interest in the issue. Our concern is the negative colouration that the crisis is bringing to us.
“As brothers and sisters we feel bringing the issue to the police is not proper. Rather, we would go back home and resolve whatever it is without any bitterness.
In his response the PPRO of AIG Zone 5, Tijjani Momoh said that the police came into the matter through a strongly worded petition that it received from one of the parties to the dispute and the new approach that the indigenes want to adopt is in line with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methodology which the police also support.
He promised that the protesters’ wish which must be the wish of the majority of the people back home would be adapted and the police would hands off the case for other approach to be taken to let peace to reign.