Ika Youths vs. Military: Imminent Clash in Delta
Bloody clash is currently looming at Agbor, Ika South council area of Delta state following a perceived show down by angry youths from the area with men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) over the recent flogging of their octogenarian parents during a
recent peaceful protest. Joint Task Force (JTF) had on June 18, 2010 broke up a peaceful demonstration by octogenarians who, under the aegis of 'Ika landlords and Landlady Association', had gathered in Ika metropolises, comprising Ika South and Ika North East local government area of Delta State to protest against 'marginalization of Ika nation in Delta State development progammes.'
But soon after the group, numbering about one hundred elderly men and women embarked on the peaceful protest, a team of heavily armed JTF troops swooped on them, horse wiped some, arrested others while the rest fled.
Vexed that the State Government had allegedly directed the Military men to use tear-gas and flog their parents who protested under the aegis of the Ika Landlords' Association over abandoned projects in the area, the youths it was gathered have commenced the mobilization of youths in readiness for the showdown. A six-point communiqué issued in Asaba and signed by the Secretary, Agbor Opinion Social League, Mr. Benedict Ebede, condemned the act, saying that the youths will not fold their arms and “watch forces of darkness” kill their parents in the name of politics. The communiqué added, “We are mobilizing a protest to the Government House, Asaba, to register our displeasure over the ill-treatment meted out on our aged parents in their 80's and 90's.
If that will not be enough for the state, the expressway will be barricaded again to embarrass the state.” Mr. Ebede however wondered why Governor Uduaghan would fool the people by pledging what he could not achieve because he wanted re-election at all cost. “It was annoying that the state government ordered military men to chastise our parents. The road dualization of old Lagos road which sparked off the protest was a campaign project of Uduaghan before it was abandoned thereby causing ravaging floods.” He explained that the action the landlords took was to safeguard and salvage their lives and property from being ravaged by flood following its abandonment of the projects by Delta state government.
They therefore call on President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on men of the Joint Military Task Force to face their primary duty of safeguarding lives and property and steer clear of politics and money-bags in the state. The ominous acrimony between the aggrieved people of Ika (mostly youths) and JTF causing serious panic because, according to a source, the octogenarians were mainly traditional Chiefs who embarked on a peaceful protest only to be beaten up by a team of heavily armed soldiers.
Reasons for Octogenarian protest
In the protest letter dated June 18, 2010 , and titled "Second Phase of Protest against Marginalization of Ika Nation in Delta State Development Programme by Ika Landlords/Landladies Association" and signed by the leader of the protesters and Chairman of the Association, Mr. Jacob Onyemaka, Mr. Ogochukwu Onyekpe, Secretary and Mr. Vincent Arimoku, Public Relation officer lamented the non presence of government presences in the Ika Nation. "The dredging of Orogodo river is abandoned despite the huge amount of money put into the project by the state and Federal government. The tarring of the streets and construction of drainages on the streets has been abandoned after government released huge sums of money for the project.
“The dualisation of the old Lagos /Asaba road has been abandoned, after destroying all the residential buildings, shop and other business premises thereby rendering a lot of people homeless and jobless.
“Inspite of Governor Uduaghan's promises during his electioneering campaign and the recent town hall meeting, he held with the people at Ika national hall, Agbor that he was going to dualize Old Lagos/Asaba road.
“Water pipes were laid in the ground since 1999 with the hope of supplying pipe borne water to the residence, but up till this moment there is no portable drinking water and the project abandoned.” While bemoaning the marginalization in Ika nation by the Uduaghan's government the Association has vowed that come 2011 there will be no elections in Ika land, except all the abandoned projects were completed according to specification, urging “Ika political representatives to give account of their stewardship before asking for any fresh mandate.”