The National Coordinator, Niger Delta Scholars, Chief Keme Monday, yesterday, stated that for about two years now, since 2016, residents of Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, have been prevented from passing the only link road to their community by neighboring Aladja community in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
Chief Monday, who disclosed this in a press statement, said: “The Governor of Delta state is aware that the only access road to the headquarters of Warri South West has been blocked by the Aladja people, since March 24, 2016 to date, thereby depriving local government workers, school teachers and others of their activities, without any action from him (Governor).”
“Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities were disconnected by Aladja people from the national grid for the past two years and government of Delta state has not done anything about it,” he lamented.
The Ogbe-Ijoh leader, who flayed the handling of the crisis between the two communities by the state government, said: “The Delta state government cannot claim to be ignorant of the existence of boundary laws which governments in the past, had consistently maintained, as evidenced in the present maps of Udu and Warri South West councils.”
“First was Public Notice No 28 of 1946 titled ‘Southern Nigeria Protectorate,’ which created the boundary line between the Urhobo and Warri division and demarcated the boundary with the creek by Delta Steel Company, which the company converted to drainage.
“Then in 1955, the above mentioned boundary law was amended via Gazette No 176 of 1955, which shifted the boundary between the then Urhobo and Warri Divisions to the present roundabout in Aladja town.
”The above referenced law was applied to resolve the boundary dispute between Ekpan in Uvwie local government and Ubeji in Warri South local government area on one hand and Oghara in Ethiope West and Koko in Warri North local government areas,” he said.
“It is, therefore, lack of political will on the part of Okowa-led Delta state government to do other otherwise in this instant case.”
Chief Monday, however, warned that any attempt to deviate from the delineated border lines among the community, will be an exercise in futility, as he claimed that state government lacks the power to do so.
“Any attempt to share the entire land in Ogbe-Ijoh, which Aladja claimed to be disputed land equally to the two communities and to shift the local government boundary to the new point of division by the Okowa-led Delta state government, would be strange and unknown to the law as the state government lacks such powers,” he added.
He pointed out that the two communities rejected the line of division as proposed by the Ekoko panel at an enlarged meeting of the State Security Council meeting on December 20, 2016, saying the governor should rescind its plan of sharing the land, as the law only permits acquisition.