The succession crisis rocking the Itsekiri nation took another dimension on Friday when hundreds of Itsekiri, young and old, marched on the Zone 5 Headquaters office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Benin City demanding that the Police stay off the matter. They insisted that they should be allowed to resolve the matter themselves.
Demanding that the police allow all the chiefs return to Warri to resolve the issues amicably, the placard-carrying protesters said the continued insistence that police should resolve the issue was a let-down to the custom and tradition of Itsekiri.
One of the leaders of the protesters, David Iwere said: “We are here as Itsekiri. We are tired of our matter being in the media all the time. What is happening in Itsekiri has never happened before. We are here to appeal to the AIG to send all the chiefs home and give them a time to come back and report the settlement they have made.”
Also speaking, Okhere Amaju said “We are here as group. We want peace; we are tired of crisis. We have come to appeal that they should take the matter back home and we can settle ourselves. Itsekiri issue is not for the police. We are a people with culture and tradition. We need to go and resolve our issues at home. We need peace in Itsekiri”.
Aligning with the position of others, Samuel Khalil appealed to all the chiefs and the ruling house to give peace a chance. On his part, Scott Anwani said “We have gone round to most of the chiefs in Warri Kingdom and other stakeholders who are involved in all these issues. We have met one on one letting them know why we must ensure that there is peace in Itsekiri nation.
“They are our leaders; we are not supposed to be divided. The Ologbotsere, the Iyatsere, the Uji, Uwangue, the ruling house, the chiefs, they should all come to a round table and resolve this matter and make peace so that we can be happy”.
Responding, the Police Public Relations Officer in charge of the zone, Tijani Momoh, said the request of the demonstrators would be conveyed to the AIG and whatever directive he gives, would be communicated to them.