The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has alleged a grand plot by some highly placed persons in Lagos and Ogun states to declare Ijaw people in the two states enemies of the people.
This is even as the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Wednesday, expressed worry over the incessant attacks on communities in Lagos and Ogun states by people suspected to be Niger-Delta militants.
Also, some residents of Lagos State on Wednesday trooped en masse to protest incessant gunmen attacks and raping of women in the riverine parts of the state by suspected members of Niger-Delta militants.
The IYC said linking Ijaw ethnic nationality to the kidnappings and killings in parts of Lagos and Ogun states was the beginning of such plot to cause inter-ethnic clashes between Ijaw and Yoruba people.
Lagos and Ogun states have recently witnessed a rise in militancy, kidnappings and other criminal activities. On Monday, 26, 2016, gunmen stormed the Igando area of the state and reportedly killed a police officer and some other residents in a clash said to be between two rival groups.
The police said the gunmen are former pipeline vandals who have now taken to other forms of criminal activities because they could no longer vandalise pipelines with ease.
In a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, the IYC said: “There is a deliberate plot by some highly placed persons to paint the Ijaw ethnic nationality in bad light so as to justify the evil they are planning against the people.
“The latest of this orchestrated plan is the accusation of Ijaw militants for carrying out the Sunday, July 24, 2016 kidnap of a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at Santos bus stop, Ikorodu, Lagos State, by unknown gunmen.”
While wondering how the kidnappers were found to be Ijaw people, the IYC asked further: “The questions that readily come to mind are, ‘How did they know that they were Ijaw militants? Was anybody arrested?
“Who among the kidnappers confessed that they are Ijaw militants? Did the kidnappers identify themselves as Ijaw militants while carrying out their criminal activity? These and other questions beg for answers.”
The group said it supports that criminals should be seen as such and without ethnic colouration, adding that the recent incidents in parts of Lagos and Ogun states are cases of criminality. The group further pleaded with media organisations to help avoid crisis that could come up as a result of this.