From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw National Congress (INC), the umbrella body of the Ijaws worldwide, has declared support for Nigeria with a proviso that, should it be compelled to leave the country, it would do so without joining any other ethnic group.
The INC has warned agitators for secession to count it out, saying the Ijaws would not allow any of its territory to be annexed under any guise.
INC President Prof Benjamin Okaba, who stated this in his inaugural address after the inauguration of the newly elected INC executive, said the INC is aware of surreptitious moves by some groups to annex territories in the Niger Delta because of its resources.
Okaba, who assured that INC would collaborate with other ethnic minorities that share the same experiences with the Ijaws to achieve their dreams, however vowed that no part of Ijawland would be ceded or conquered.
‘The INC wishes to use this special occasion to and in an unequivocal term remind and warn such characters that the Ijaw territory was never and will never be ceded or conquered. We belong only to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Should there be a compelling necessity to pull out of the present Nigeria, we shall go our separate ways in fulfilment of the dreams of our ancestors,’ he said.