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WARRI ~ Foremost sociocultural group in the Niger Delta, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC Worldwide have appealed to the Urhobo youth leadership over a 14 days ultimatum handed out for Ijaws living in the Udu axis to vacate or face its wrath to shield their swords, stressing that the Ijaws and Urhobos have had a very long historic relationship as there should be no need for war.

The Ijaw youths made the call on Friday penultimate week in a press statement by its spokesman Barr. Eric Omare while noting that the two ethnic groups shares similar problems as he totally dismissed any attempt of war.

Speaking on the alleged Urhobo hostages, the IYC said “The information available to the IYC leadership is that the Urhobos that were held at Isaba Community have since Friday, the 11th of November, 2016 handed over to a combined team of Navy, Army and members of the Delta State Land and Waterways Committee led by its Chairman, Chief Boro Opudu. However, the leadership of the IYC is still investigating the further allegation of abduction of Urhobos.”

The Ijaw Youth Spokesman however, appeals to both ethnic groups particularly the Ijaws to remain calm, promising that the two leaderships are working in collaboration with the state government to ensure peaceful resolution of what he described as aged long boundary disputes between the Ijaws of Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba, Diebiri and the Urhobos of Aladja.

He particularly admonished youths from both ethnic groups to give peace a chance by allowing the state government, the IYC and the Urhobo youth leaderships to address the issues.

The statement read “attention of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has been drawn to a publication in several newspapers where one comrade Sunday Subi, who is the Chairman of the Urhobo Progress Union, Youth Wing in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State gave 14 days ultimatum to Ijaws in Udu Kingdom to leave Udu within 14 days. The reason for this ultimatum is said to be because of Urhobos that were allegedly kidnap at Aladja Community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.

“The said ultimatum has generated a lot of apprehension among Ijaws and Urhobos in different parts of the country and beyond. The IYC calls on Ijaws resident in Udu Kingdom and different parts of Urhobo nation to be calm. The highest level of Ijaw and Urhobo leadership are working hard together with the Delta State Government to restore peace between the Ijaw communities of Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba and, the Urhobos of Aladja.” IYC appeals

It added “There is no inter-ethnic conflict between the Ijaws and Urhobos to warrant any ultimatum. The aged long boundary disputes between the Ijaws of Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba, Diebiri and the Urhobos of Aladja are local issues and have nothing to do with the wider relationship between the Ijaw and Urhobo ethnic nationalities. The Ijaws and Urhobos shares common challenges and have had a very long historic relationship hence there is no cause for inter-ethnic conflict between the two ethnic groups.

“The IYC is committed to working with Urhobo Elders and Youths leaders towards an amicable resolution of the aged long boundary disputes between the Ijaws of Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba, Diebiri and the Urhobos of Aladja and we call on all Ijaw and Urhobo youths to give the leadership of the two ethnic groups and the Delta State Government the opportunity to find a peaceful solution to the problem.” Omare said.

It would be recalled that there was alleged tension in Warri particularly in Udu area of Delta State last week following the 14 days ultimatum issued by the UPU Youth wing of Urhobo.

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