Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has read the riot act to the warring Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri South West Local Government Area and Aladja community in Udu Local Government Area, warning them to sheath their swords or prepare to face the wrath of the state government.
Both communities have been locked in an age-long inter-communal crisis over a piece of land, which both of them have been laying claim to.
Enough is enough and we must take action
The perennial violent crisis has cost both communities the lives of hundreds of people.
But the governor, who many have blamed for the escalation of the crisis due to his alleged refusal to issue a white paper after setting up a committee to resolve the crisis, said his administration would soon come out with the white paper, adding, “Enough is enough.”
The governor, who gave this warning separately at Ogbe-Ijoh and Udu council areas during the People’s Democratic Party’s campaign rallies for the forthcoming local government council elections billed for January 6, 2018, said after the white paper had been signed, anybody who continued to perpetrate crisis in the two communities would have themselves to blame.
Okowa said, “We do not want to exert our power on the people; that is why we are restraining ourselves, because if we decide to use our powers, nobody will be able to live in both communities. So, I am appealing publicly to both communities, Ogbe-Ijoh, Aladja and Isaba to calm down because the memo, the white paper, is coming to the council and we will take the decision that we believe will be right for everybody. And after that decision, anybody that does anything foolish, that person will be on his own because I have the authority to do whatever I want to do and nobody is going to hold me responsible for whatever happened.
“Enough is enough and we must take action, because when I came to this place, I noticed that, though some people are happy, you can still see in their eyes that they are not really happy. Where I was sitting, a woman came and knelt down before me crying. She told me that she’s the immediate past councilor in the area. Those tears I saw her shedding in public show that what has been happening has touched her bone marrow.
“I also feel the pains of the people because we have held several meetings, but it seems we do not want to calm down. So, I am appealing for the last time, that we should calm down. This is the reason I am holding this campaign same day in the two council areas so that I can give them this warning. After today, anybody that misbehaves will be dealt with and then nobody will come and beg me because all kinds of things will happen to people from the top to the bottom. This is a warning and appeal to both communities.”