File photo: Militants
WARRI- The lingering crisis between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh has turned to a new twist as a militant group under the auspices of Supreme Egbesu Council has vowed to commence bombing of oil facilities in Warri South LGA of Delta, if the State governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa goes ahead to share Ogbe-Ijoh land for Aladja community on Wednesday this week.
The militants in a press statement made available to our correspond in Warri, jointly signed by the following leaders, General Ebi, General Blackky Ogupele, General Akpos Don-Smoky , General Commander Edesemi and General Peterside Bob-Jack have threatened ‘‘The attention of Supreme Egbesu Council has been drawn to attempt by Delta State Government to share over 1,236 hectares of land belonging to Ogbe-Ijoh with Aladja Community getting 50% of the land. This to us, is an oppression to the Ogbe-Ijoh people because the land in question has been long legislated upon by Government of Nigeria in 1955 via Gazette No 176 of 1955 which places the boundary between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh somewhere around the round-about in Aladja Community as identified by the Ekoko led Panel.
‘‘Council finally directed all Units Heads to commence mapping of all Oil facilities and blow same after Wednesday Security Council meeting if Okowa is bend in sharing Ijaw land to Aladja instead to acquire and hold the land in brief for Government’’ they said
The statement further said that they were further briefed that in an enlarged Security Council meeting held at Unity Hall, Government House Asaba, attended by all Ijaw and Urhobo .Traditional Rulers in Delta State, Delta State Advisory Council, Head of Security Agencies, selected top Government functionaries and members of the Ekoko led Panel on the 20th of December, 2016. In that meeting, Prof. Ekoko briefed the Governor and others of their findings where the disputed land between the two communities was discovered to be 289 hectares. Further claims by parties amounts to 1,236 hectares of land. The Governor after due consultations pronounced 289 hectares of land as the parcel of land Government of Delta State intends to acquire.
‘‘That the failure of Delta State Government to stand by its pronouncements is responsible for the lingering crisis between the communities in the last two years. It is very unfortunate that the State Government failed to restore peace to the warring parties especially the blockage of the road leading to Ogbe-Ijoh by Aladja Community, putting Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba and other Ijaw communities in Warri South West into darkness in the last two years without Okowa directing BEDC to reconnect the affected Ijaw communities.’’
According to the statement, ”After deliberation, council resolved as follows That if the Okowa led Delta State Government go ahead to share Ijaw land which is in trust of the Ogbe-Ijoh people, we will use all that within us to claim back that land. Because the Ogbe-Ijoh land forms part of the Ijaw Republic which we are working hard to achieve.
‘‘ That Okowa’s pronouncement of sharing Ijaw land in Ogbe-Ijoh will be greeted with “Operation Red Economy” in Warri South West, Warri North and parts of Warri South LG. Governor Okowa must be reminded that similar oppressive actions of Government as regards to the political survival of the Ijaws of Warri led to the famous Warri crises.
‘‘ Council directed the National Boundary Commission to intervene and interpret the relevant boundary laws to avoid “Operation Red Economy” in the Niger Delta. Council finally directed all Units Heads to commence mapping of all Oil facilities and blow same after Wednesday Security Council meeting if Okowa is bend in sharing Ijaw land to Aladja instead to acquire and hold the land in brief for Government.’’ The statement warned.