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Land dispute: Ogbe-Ijoh Community writes Oborevwori, raises alarm over fresh tension




By Stephen Asaba-ase

The Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Governing Council has written an open letter to Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, expressing concern over the ongoing demarcation work between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities. The council claimed that Aladja is making fresh claims beyond the agreed 289 hectares of land, which was established by a panel led by Prof. Okoko in 2016.

The community alleges that Aladja has a history of violence, including destroying boundary pillars and attacking Ogbe-Ijoh citizens, military personnel, and security personnel. They demand that the government stand firm and arrest those responsible for the threats and violence.

The Ogbe-Ijoh community also requests the government to complete the abandoned Ogbe-Ijoh bypass road to avoid passing through Aladja town. They urged the government to demonstrate political will and resolve the issue once and for all.

The letter is signed by Chief Samuel Eyoroengagha, Chairman of the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Governing Council, and other leaders of the community.

However, copies of the letter have been sent to security agencies, Ijaw national leader Chief (Dr.) Sen. E. K. Clark and others.

Read below, attached the full manuscript of the letter

His Excellency,
Chief (Elder) Sheriff Oborevwori,
Executive Governor of Delta State,
Government House,

Your Excellency Sir


We write, to draw your attention to the ongoing demarcation work between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh Communities and to express our worry and concern as it relates to the land in dispute. From available Government records, vis-a-vis the various panels of inquiry, it is the undeveloped parcel of land between the two communities which was estimated to be about 289 hectares that is being disputed. The 289 hectares of land was Government independent findings by the Prof. Okoko led panel which the Delta State Government accepted as the area in dispute in an expanded Stakeholders meeting held in Government House, Asaba at the Unity Hall on the 16th of December, 2016. In attendance were the then Governor of Delta State, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, representatives of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh Communities including traditional Rulers of Ogbe-Ijoh and Udu. The Orodje of Okpe, Major General Felix Mujakpero (Rtd.) who was then First Vice Chairman and now Chairman of Delta State Traditional Rulers Council led Urhobo Traditional Rulers as well as the Pere of Akugbene-Mein who was then Second Vice Chairman and now First Vice Chairman of Delta State Traditional Rulers Council led Ijaw Traditional Rulers. Others include members of Delta State Advisory Committee led by its Chairman, Prof. Sam Oyovwaire, top Government functionaries and the various Security Heads in Delta State that collectively took the decision of 289 hectares of land.

Therefore, 289 hectares of land was not minority report, but what was collectively agreed by stakeholders after the briefing of the panel led by Prof. Okoko.The point need to be cleared as the records are there for verification. Furthermore, the shared portion of land up to the ‘Borrow Pit’ falls within the 289 hectares of land, which is lying and situate in Ogbe-Ijoh Warri South West Local Government Area. But unfortunately, our neighbors, the Aladja people are deliberately misleading the survey team by making fresh claims beyond the 289 hectares of land and this is completely unacceptable and same the Ogbe-Ijoh people reject in its entirety. Also, we have been reliably informed that some persons from Aladja in the presence of Security personnel threatened to kill staffs from the office of the State Surveyor General who were on the field to carry out Government directive, were ordered to stop forthwith the demarcation work. This has been their trade in stock, the aim is to pressure Government to deviate from the agreed 289 hectares of land and again we say NO!

The Government of Delta State must stand firm and arrest those Aladja people that have the courage not only to stop work but threatened to kill anybody at sight including security personnel. Furthermore, since March 16, 2016 to date, the Ogbe-Ijoh people/visitors can’t access Ogbe-Ijoh, Headquarters of Warri South West Council through land. We therefore demand that the Delta State Government should look into the abandoned Ogbe-Ijoh bypass road awarded to Broad link to avoid passing through the heart of Aladja town to access Ogbe-Ijoh town.

Our worry and concern is further affirmed by the inability of the Delta State Government both in the past and present to demonstrate the needed political will to once and all take a definite stand and resolve this issue irrespective of which ox is gored. The failure of Delta State Government both past and present to decisively deal with promoters of native war in Aladja community is largely responsible for the incessant attacks on law abiding Ogbe-Ijoh citizens and other Nigerians including Military personnel and this can’t certainly continue.

For the records, Aladja lawlessness started with the destruction of the two Local Governments boundary pillars of Udu and Warri South West Councils that were erected by the then Panel of Inquiry led by Prof. Okoko inline with its term of reference number one (1), established pillars marked ‘UDU/WSW 01-20 DT’ starting from the Warri River (UDU/WSW 01 DT and terminating at the Forcador Flat with UDU/WSW 20 DT). These pillars were destroyed by Aladja people. Since then Aladja has been in the killing spree without the authorities doing anything about it. Hence, they have the effrontery not only to stop the demarcation work but chased out security personnel as well. This recalcitrant attitude of Aladja people is another sad reminder of the unfortunate “Okuama Killing incident” that is waiting to explode one day except the Delta State Government and Security personnel live up to their responsibilities in this regard.

Once again, we pledge our unalloyed support to the Government of Delta State and look forward to Government reactions as regards to Aladja stoppage of the ongoing demarcation work between the two communities.

Chief Samuel Eyoroengagha,
Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Governing Council

Chief Joel Ogbona,
Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Land Allocation Committee

Chief Harris Gbenekama (JP),
Leader of Thought

Chief David Omare
Leader of Thought

Hon. Michael Oweikpodor,
Leader of thought

Comrade Edwin Aken,
Former President,
Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom Youth Council

Comrade Ebimobowei Kenneth Ikoro,
Youth President,
Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom Youth Council

The Commanding Officer,
Nigerian Army,
Effurun Barracks

The Commissioner of Police,
Nigerian Police,
Delta State Command

The State Director,
State Security Service,
Delta State Command,

Chief (Dr.) Sen. E. K. Clark, OFR, CON
The TONKEPA of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom