The apex socio-cultural group in Urhobo land, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), has waded into the crisis between Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri South West local Government Area and the Aladja community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State calling Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa to take a decisive step to quell the crisis.
President General of the UPU, Chief Moses Taiga who spoke to journalists after the inaugural meeting of the new UPU executive held in Abraka, Ethiope East local government area of the state said it was high time the state government did something about the crisis and put an end to the incessant killings going in both communities.
The boundary crisis between Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South West Local Government Area and Aladja in Udu Local Government Area of the state has been raging on for some years now and has led to the loss of lives from both communities.
But barely one week into office as UPU President General, Chief Taiga said they can no longer sit down and fold their arms while innocent citizens continue to lose their lives over boundary dispute that could have been resolved long ago.
Taiga said apart from calling on the state government to do the needful, UPU executive has also set up a committee that will go to both communities to look for ways to resolve the lingering crisis once and for all.
He said, “We have set up a committee to immediately look into the matter and we are calling on the state government that there is no more time to waste. Whatever committee that was set up by government for this crisis, it is about time that results started coming out. We have also set up our own committee to go to both communities to look at the root cause of the crisis.”
The UPU President General also called on both warring communities to sheath their swords and tow the path of peace saying that the killings going on in both communities cannot resolve the dispute.
Chief Taiga also told journalists that the UPU is planning to open micro finance banks for the Urhobo women so they could have easy access to loans.
He also said that consultations were in top gear to develop an Urhobo University that will be named after Chief Mukoro Mowoe, the legacy President of UPU.
He said, “In today’s meeting, we discussed expansion of the five point agenda that we highlighted at Uviamuge some of which are developing the Urhobo college and Uviamuge house, setting up a micro finance bank for our women to get money, developing an Urhobo University to be named after our legacy President, Chief Mukoro Mowoe and other issues. We expanded on how to carry all of them forward.”
The UPU President General also stressed on the need to unify the whole Urhobo nation as one indivisible body with a view to making it one of the strongest ethnic groups in the country.
He called on all Urhobo sons and daughters who have one grievance or the other to reconcile with one another.
“In the meeting we talked about how to reconcile not just our brothers but the Urhobos with our neighbors, the Itsekiris, Ndokwas, Isokos, Ijaws, and even our neighbors outside the state. We set up an inter-ethnic committee under the supervision of my first deputy to take care of this. We will also identify with other national organizations like Afenifere, Ohaneze, Arewa and a host of other groups and how we can relate to them,” Taiga added.
Meanwhile, Delta State police command has arrested and detained about seven leaders of Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities in Warri South- West Local Government Area, Delta State, in connection with the bloodletting among the Ijaw communities and Aladja community.
Those being held were the Chairman of Ogbe-Ijoh, Alex Akemotubo, Secretary, Godwin Eneghan and youth president, Edwin Aken.
Also in custody of the police were an octogenarian, Chief Santors Emmontoghan, representative of the Pere of Isaba, Chairman of the community, Henry Ofoleyo, Secretary, Austin Deinfegha and youth president, Moses Ogugu.