By Sunday Apah
The National Coordinator of Ijaw Mandate Group, Dagidi Andaye, has escaped assassination attempt by unknown gunmen at his residence in Iwhrekpokpor, Ughelli North local area of Delta state.
The assassination attempt is coming few days after the leadership of Ijaw group endorsed Delta Central Senatorial District for 2023 governorship at Mosogar in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state.
Andaye, Senior Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Political Matters, who narrated his ordeal to journalists during a media chat at his residence, said that in the early hours of Wednesday, November 17, 2021, he heard noise outside his house, and when he peeped through the window, he saw some gunmen numbering about six, trying to force their way into his compound.
He explained that when they failed to break into the compound, they started shooting sporadically at the gate to gain entrance, but that the quick intervention of security agents scared them away.
When asked what could have led to the attempt on his life by suspected assassins, he said that after the Ijaw group which he is the coordinator declared its support for the Urhobo 2023 governorship, he started receiving threat calls and friends advising him not to sleep in his home for weeks.
According to him, “I believed strongly that the assassins were sympathisers of Ijaw nation for 2023 governorship, but they have failed. I want to tell the whole world that we are not scared of what has happened but it has rather emboldened me and members of IMG to remain firm.”
“We already got trace of the suspected assassins. They will soon be arrested and their sponsors would be uncovered. We the members of the IMG are more of Ijaws than those sympathisers of Ijaw governorship ambition. The situation of when it is you, it should be Ijaw but when it is not you then it is not Ijaw must be stopped,” he added.
“Ijaws, under my leadership, can no longer be deceived. We have been deceived by people who claim to be contesting then thereafter meander to put people behind. If you are working for the Ijaw nation, why didn’t you support bonafide sons of Ijaw that contested in 2014,” he queried.
“The same persons that told them then that Delta state is being governed on basis of senatorial district are the ones trying to disrupt the peaceful process. What has happened to that process that they are saying it is the turn of Ijaw Nation,” he wondered.
“Their ambition is a ploy to truncate the 2031 ambition of the Ijaw Nation which we know that the younger generation will grow to contest for. Delta South Senatorial District belong to three major tribes of Itsekiri, Isoko and Ijaw. So when it rotates to the district in 2031 the three tribes will contest for it, but by law of natural justice, we believe that the Itsekiri will not contest,” he stated.
“The Isoko man is qualified to contest for it in 2031. And if we of the Ijaw ethnic group did not support the Urhobo nation, they will support Isoko that has already endorsed them and Ijaw will loose out in 2031. It is on that understanding that we of the IMG decided that Ijaw can’t put their eggs in one basket, that we must support the Urhobo Nation to get their support in 2031,” he explained.
“So, I want to reaffirm and still maintain that Ijaw 2023 governorship is not feasible. We cannot allow some persons, because of their selfish ambition, to deceive the entire Ijaw Nation”, he added.