Some barely dressed ladies, alongside other youths in the Gelegel community, have been able to chase away over 25 armed security men and site workers from a construction site in the Ovia North East Local Government of Edo State.
According to reports, the police officers and workers had been on the site on the orders of the Oba of Benin who plans to build a residential estate in the area.
Since there has been a lingering dispute between the Ijaws and Binis over who was the rightful owner of the land, the villagers resorted to chasing all the workers away, even though they had begun to lay blocks on the site.
Following the event, the Ijaw Youth Council has issued a statement to the Edo state government, warning that the Monarch should be careful in his dealings with the people of Gelegle, hence, it there may be unforetold crisis in the region.
The statement read, “For the records once again, Gelegele (Gelegele gbene) is one of the most ancient historical Ijaw communities of Ovia North East local government area of Edo state, Gelegele community (Gelegele-gbene) is an ancient Olodiama Ijaw- speaking community founded by Pa Olugbo Ikpiti several centuries ago.
“Gelegele is a boarder community between Ijaw communities and Edo communities on one hand and also it is a boundary community of Olodiama clan and Egbema clan of Delta and Edo states. The Bini monarch has often time planned to assimilate Gelegele gbene, hence the incessant invasion and harassment meted on the Gelegele people by the Oba of Benin.
“The entire Ijaw nation is aware of the scheming and manipulations to lay claim to the community so as to share the wealth that accrues to it due to the attention that Federal Government and International community accord it as oil -producing community in Edo state. The other reason is the proposed establishment of a seaport and a new satellite town in Gelegele community.
“This continuous harassment against the law- abiding Gelegele people is truly a call for war and IYC is gradually losing its patience over the continuous harassment meted on Gelegele community. No tribe has conquered Ijaw people since creation and Oba of Benin and his subjects should know that they are only trying the patience of Ijaw people.
“Despite several complaints lodged by Gelegele community to the Edo state government and security agencies, it is obvious that the security agencies are aiding the odious act. We stand not only to condemn the said act, but also warn that it stop forthwith.
“Gelegele people are not alone, they belong to Ijaw nation, therefore, the IYC and entire Ijaw nation shall resist and defend our people, the Gelegele community, with the last tip of our blood. The Ijaw people are peaceful and law-abiding people, but our simplicity should not be taking for granted.”