ITSEKIRI COMMUNITY TO GOVERNOR OKOWA: Ignore protest by Oghara people over land
The Obitugbo Management Committee, an Itsekiri community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State has called on the Delta State Governor, SenatoI Ifeanyi Okowa, to ignore the recent protest by the people of Oghara over an allegation that a vast expanse of their land was handed over to the Nigerian Army by His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse lll, the Olu of Warri Kingdom.
In a press release titled: “Re: illegal and unlawful hand over of vast expanse of land belonging to Oghara and located at Otegbo (which the Itsekiri call Obitugbo) village, to the Nigerian Army by his royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri kingdom,” the community accused the Oghara people of resorting to violence to get what they could not get in court.
It should be recalled that the Oghara Traditional Council led by HRM King Noble Eshemitan, Uku Ogharaname, on the 5th of April, 2022, had called on the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to intervene in the ownership of lands located at Ajagbodudu and Otegbo (which the Itsekiri call Obitugbo) villages between the Urhobos of Oghara Kingdom in Ethiope West LGA and the Itsekiris in Warri North LGA, both of Delta State.
They also accused the Itsekiris of planning to establish a private university in the Oghara land territory of Otegbo.
However, in a rejoinder by the Obitugbo community signed by the Chairman of the community, Mr Justice Akuyoma, the Secretary, Esaye Luke Ariyoh, and the Alare-Aja of the community, Pa Isaac Jemide, they claimed that the site for the proposed University of Warri, as well as other institutions, are on lands owned by the Obitugbo community.
They also cited that Obitugbo is an Itsekiri community founded by Iyatsere Egharegbemi who lived there with his wives, children and domestics, that his descendants exercised many acts of possession and ownership over Obite-Ugbo and its still inhabited to this day by his descendants.
The press release stated that the issue of ownership of land can only be determined by competent law courts and added that the Oghara people have been to court with the Delta State Government and the Obitugbo people and their cases struck out.
They however stated that the Oghara people should be made to face the rule of law and not violence as threatened in their various media outlets.
“The presence of the Ovie of Oghara and his chiefs at Obitugbo on the 5th of April, 2022, in the name of a protest is in contempt of the order of injunction made against them on the 1st day of November, 2007.
“In this regard, we have instructed our solicitors to commence committal proceedings against the Ovie of Oghara and his chiefs for disobedience of a lawful court order,” the statement said.