Says warring communities should not take the state for granted
Youth Presidents from both communities to give reports on a weekly basis to the Navy
Appeals to traditional rulers in the state to complement government efforts in curbing the impasse
May declare disputed land as a military base
To curtail the insecurity challenges bedevilling Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja communities, the Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa have stated that the military would apply its full weight on any of the communities that launched any further attack.
Governor Okowa gave the warning yesterday at Asaba, the state capital during a security meeting between the state government, traditional rulers and youth leaders from Urhobo and Ijaw ethnic nationalities in the state, stressing that warring communities should not take the state for granted.
The Governor have also charged youth leaders from both Aladja in Udu Local Government Area and Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South West Local Government Area to make it as a point of duty to always good a situation reports at the Warri Naval base.
Speaking on the role of traditional rulers in curbing communal crises, Senator. Ifeanyi has appealed to the Delta State Council of traditional rulers particularly the Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja monarchs to cooperate with the State government’s efforts in bringing the lingering crises under control while threatening to withdraw his respect for them as he would not hesitate to take appropriate actions against them should the crises continues to escalate.
He explained that government had made frantic efforts to broker peace between the two communities which have not yielded any positive results, and directed security agencies to arrest the President Generals, Women and Youth leaders if any further crisis erupts.
“We have been doing a lot to stop the crisis but it appear these our brothers are not ready for peace and are ready to drag us into an ethnic war which will not help anybody, we cannot close our eyes to the inherent danger in their actions”, the governor said, adding “I have directed the security agencies that the President-General, Youth and Women leaders of the communities should continue to report weekly to the Naval Base and they should be held responsible if there is further escalation of the crisis”, Senator Okowa said.
In his words: “I have not gotten enough cooperation from the traditional rulers of Ogbe Ijoh and Aladja communities and we have a lot of respect for your [traditional ruler’s] office, but I wish to caution that, that respect would be withdrawn if we have further crisis, and I will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against the Two traditional rulers if we hear any further crisis. We cannot continue to act in this manner, it is time to maintain law and order in the area”,
Governor Okowa described as worrisome, security reports which indicated that the crisis was degenerating into a full scale war between the Urhobo and Ijaw ethnic nationalities, and appealed to traditional rulers in the state to compliment government’s efforts at ensuring the restoration of peace as “it is difficult to maintain peace without the royal fathers”.
It was further learnt that the Delta State Government may declare the disputed land as a military base in order to forestall the crises.