Date Published: 12/19/10
CONCERNED DIASPORA IJAWS
549 LEFFERTS AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11225, USA
Nigeria's Genocide against the Ijaws: The Rubicon has been crossed
One too many!! The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) – Nigeria’s permanent military apparatus in Ijawland – has reared its ugly head again, visiting heinous genocide on unarmed, defenseless and hapless Ijaws and decimating their communities. This time, it is the bustling large town of Ayakoromo located in the Western section of the Niger Delta that is the victim of its onslaught. The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) invaded the town on Wednesday December 1, 2010 killing and maiming hundreds of innocent and harmless children, men and women, including the elderly, in the pretense of going after militant leader John Togo of the Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) who had destroyed and deserted his camp that was located three miles away from Ayakoromo Town in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Ayakoromo Genocide is arguably the saddest and the most heart-breaking tragedy that has befallen the Ijaw Nation, simply because it is the greatest betrayal of the Ijaw Nation for President Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria and of Ijaw extraction, to commit such atrocious genocide against his own oppressed Ijaw people!! We hold President Goodluck Jonathan totally responsible for this heinous genocide/crime against the Ijaws and humanity. The information published so far reveals that President Goodluck Jonathan authorized the genocidal military onslaught against Ayakoromo and other surrounding Ijaw communities by the inglorious Joint Task Force (JTF), the Nigerian army of occupation and oppression in Ijawland. Worse, Jonathan has refusedto halt the genocide against the Ayakoromo people, and by extension, given the JTF all his consent and order, as commander-in-chief of the Nigerian armed forces, to continue the genocidal campaign as well as cover up the atrocities committed and being committed against Ayakoromo and the entire Ijaw Nation. President Goodluck Jonathan's callous silence and absolute lack of sympathy for the Ayakoromo community, that has been so decimated by aerial bombings, artillery shelling and grenade attacks, with the killing and maiming of hundreds of its members, is absolute proof of his culpability for the genocide!! Goodluck Jonathan's attitude is unconscionable and reprehensible, especially in the face of the fact that well-meaning Ijaw sons and daughters had swiftly made representations to him at the onset to stop the genocidal military campaign! Needless to say, there is absolutely no justification for the genocidal military campaign against Ayakoromo or any other Ijaw community because there are no militant camps in any Ijaw community. Rather, the militant camps are in remote areas in the creeks of the Niger Delta, at safe distances away from the communities. Nobody will fault Goodluck Jonathan if he had ordered the Nigerian military/JTF to engage militants in their camps rather than visit premeditated genocide upon innocent Ijaw communities.
The Ayakoromo Genocide is yet another very painful reminder of the most terrible genocides committed by the Nigerian State against the Ijaws. Only last year, precisely in May 2009, on the orders of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, the Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State was visited with horrendous genocide; whereby thousands of its population were savagely (brutally) murdered or maimed, and its towns and villages viciously decimated and razed to the ground, by aerial bombardments, grenade attacks, and artillery poundings from warships and naval gunboats. Tens of thousands were rendered homeless, many fleeing into the mangrove swamps and bushes, where they were hunted and slaughtered by the rampaging genocidal Nigerian military. Thousands of injured people could not have access to much-needed life-saving emergency medical care because they were cut off from the outside world through the genocidal military siege, and subsequently, died helplessly. It is extremely disappointing that the Nigerian government has refused to rebuild or compensate the destroyed Gbaramatu communities one and half years after the heinous Gbaramatu Genocide. Yesterday, it was Gbaramatu; today, it is Ayakoromo; which Ijaw community is next?
We are anguished and appalled, beyond description as thousands of our people have been rendered homeless, and have fled into the mangrove swamps and bushes, where they are still being hunted and slaughtered by the rampaging genocidal Nigerian military. Many have fled to Warri and other neighboring towns as refugees.
If the Ijaws cannot be protected against genocide in Nigeria even by an Ijaw President of Nigeria, then there is no place for the Ijaws in Nigeria!! The Rubicon has been crossed!
The Nigerian neo-colonizing Joint Task Force (JTF) has, in the past fifteen years, decimated our defenseless populations in Odi, Odioma, Gbaramatu, Gbaran, Ogboinbiri, Kaiama, Ovu, Liama, Okpoama, Obioku, Yenagoa, Amarata, Ekeki, Opolo, Agudama, Epebu, Oluashiri, Okolobiri, Mbiama, Azuzuama, Ologoama, Oboro, Ogodobiri, Ojobo, Peretorugbene, Warri Corner, Okerenkoko, Torugbene, Ogbudugbudu, Ogulagha, Odimodi, Okigbene, Olugbobiri, Olugboboro, Ikebiri, Nembe, Twon, Ferebaghagbene, Opia, Ikenyan, Okokodiagbene, Oproza, Ogbe-Ijo, Izon-Burutu, Ekeremor-Zion, Sagbama, Aven, Patani, Amabulu, Peremabiri, Obuama, Agge, Fish Town, Koluama, Okrika, Bonny, Ataba, Iyak, Omelema, Otari, Degema, Bakana, Kula, Soku, Elem-Sangama, Opobo, Abuloma, Amadi-ama, Bille, Belema, Buguma and numerous other Ijaw communities. The relentless genocidal military campaign against us, the Ijaw people, is proof of the ruthless determination of the evil and ungrateful Nigerian State to oppress and exterminate us for our God-given oil and gas resources.
We note, with extreme pain, disgust and anger, the continual systematic acts of genocide perpetrated against our Ijaw people, particularly our Ijaw youths by the occupational forces of the Nigerian military in the Niger Delta. The Joint Task Force of the Nigerian military enforcing a Genocidal Reign of Terror against the Ijaws frequently guns down unarmed innocent Ijaw youths travelling in speedboats in the Niger Delta Waterways under the pretext that the Ijaw youths are militants. There have been numerous instances whereby the occupational forces of the oppressive Nigerian State have indiscriminately and recklessly killed Ijaw citizens traveling in boats in our waterways in the course of their innocuous normal daily socioeconomic activities. Whenever such heinous human rights abuses are perpetrated against the Ijaw people, the Nigerian military and Nigerian Government dishonorably and deceptively defend and justify these crimes against humanity by falsely claiming, with plausibility, that the killed Ijaws were militants! Whereas, members of the Nigerian security forces who kill citizens of other ethnic extractions in other parts of the country are penalized for their human rights abuses, the Nigerian occupational forces in the Niger Delta are allowed to kill Ijaws with impunity! This is unacceptable and must stop!!
A police operation to flush out alleged miscreants must not be turned into a deliberate and calculated military onslaught to annihilate the Ijaw ethnic nationality. This military persecution can only be categorized as ethnic cleansing. When thousands of Southerners living in the northern parts of Nigeria were slaughtered in recent years, neither bombs nor helicopter gunships were used to kill the Hausa-Fulani and other Northern Nigerian miscreants. During the mayhems in Lagos during the active period of OPC when numerous Hausa-Fulanis and Yorubas fought and killed each other, no helicopter gunships or bombs were employed by the Nigerian Security Forces to eliminate the miscreants; let alone decimate innocent, harmless and defenseless civilians. And in the continual and episodic Jos Crisis and the Boko-Haram Crisis in Northern Nigeria in which police officers and soldiers have been killed, no helicopter gunships or bombs have been deployed by the Nigerian Security Forces to decimate innocent, harmless and defenseless civilians. In contradistinction, it is the discriminatory, oppressive and unacceptable official policy of the Nigerian government and military to use bombs, naval gunboats and helicopter gunships indiscriminately to kill and maim in Niger Delta communities at peacetime under a civilian government. Even the extrajudicial killing of suspected miscreants without trial is an egregious violation of due process as well as an unconscionable abuse of human rights.
Now, the following are our demands from the Federal Government of Nigeria:
- Immediate withdrawal of the JTF from Ayakoromo and surrounding communities and replacing the illegal occupational force with the police.
- Immediate provision of relief by the Federal Government to the victims of the Ayakoromo Genocide.
- Immediate commencement of the building of the community, especially the homes of the victims so that the indigenes of Ayakoromo will go back to living their normal lives.
- Immediate compensation to the families of the dead, the wounded, the homeless and all those affected by the genocidal mayhem.
- That the Nigerian Government never ever assault any more Ijaw community, town or village to commit another Genocide. Let this be the last warning to the Nigerian Government.
If these are not done, we intend to take further actions legally, locally and globally, ensuring that those in authority in Nigeria do not escape justice.
Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo
Email: email@example.com; Cell: (570) 369-0530
Prof. Geoffrey Ibim
Dr. Abio Sokari
Mr. Bright Harry
Mr. Peter Oki Edu
For and on the behalf of Concerned Diaspora Ijaws