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The Ijaw People (Nigeria)

Last modified: 2013-11-01 by bruce berry
Keywords: ijaw | egbesu | white flag |
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The Ijaw People

Ijaw is a major ethnic group in southern Nigeria, primarily in the States of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, in the oil-rich region of Niger Delta, numbering more than 14 million.1

Complaining about environmental degradation and wealth distribution from the oil exploitation in their homeland, the Ijaw people demand more autonomy or even secession from Nigeria or, in their own words, "resource control and self determination by any means necessary".

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta - MEND, with few allied groups, conducts armed operations against the Nigerian government and foreign oil companies - mainly kidnappings of oil workers and disruption of oil fields work.2

There are several flags in use by the Ijaw, but the information on them is very sketchy.

Ijaw Foundation flag

Ijaw flag image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 08 Feb 2009

The website of the Ijaw Foundation shows a logo (emblem) featuring two crossed flags. One (on the right - a blue, red, green tri-band) appears to be an Ijaw "national" flag. The other (on the left - - plain white) is used by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)

Ijaw flag image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 08 Feb 2009

The plain white flag of MEND appears on several photographs on the web - two examples are a shown at siu.no halfway down the page.   It has also been shown on english.aljazeera.net.   The flag is supposed to signify the Ijaw god of war, Egbesu.

Ijaw People's Association

Ijaw flag image contributed by Chrystian Kretowicz, 08 Feb 2009

The Ijaw People's Association uses the Ijaw Foundation flag with three horizontal stripes of blue, red and green with the Association's logo in the centre  (Source: Ijaw People's Association website).

Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide

Ijaw flag image contributed by Chrystian Kretowicz, 08 Feb 2009
 

Like the Ijaw People's Association, the Ijaw Youth Movement uses a flag based on the Ijaw Foundation with its logo in the centre (Source: Ijaw Youth Movement website website).   

Sources:
1Wikipedia: Ijaw
2Wikipedia: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
Chrystian Kretowicz, 08 Feb 2009