Aladja people raise alarm over planned attack by Ogbe-Ijoh,say they've imported mercenaries

The leaders of Aladja Community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State today raised alarm


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Aladja people raise alarm over planned attack by Ogbe-Ijoh,say they've imported mercenaries


 

 

 

The leaders of Aladja Community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State today raised alarm over a planned attack by the Ogbe-Ijoh people alleging that,they(Ogbe-Ijoh people) have imported mercenaries  to help them prosecute the agelong against them.

 

The community leaders who spoke separately with Our Correspondent today said because of the threats,many of their Indigenes have fled the town.

 

They claimed that the Ogbe-Ijoh people have also chased the military and Policemen from their land with a view to carry out the planned attack.

 

President of Aladja Community Council,ACC,Mr. She'll Okakotu GodFirst in a chat with Our Correspondent said,"We received series of calls from the riverine. Many of them advice us that we should prepare seriously."

 

He noted that hoodlums loyal to two militant leaders in Rivers and Delta State have arrived for the war. 

 

According to him,"Those are the threats they gave to us. Most of them who are friendly with our sons and daughters called them that they should carry their luggage and leave the town that any moment from now, they're going to attack."

 

GodFirst expressed confidence that God Almighty will defend them when the people of Ogbe-Ijoh come to attack them. He also vowed that they reciprocate any attack by any means God has given them.

 

While noting that people of Aladja Community had experienced series of attacks from their Ogbe-Ijoh brothers, GodFirst said,they no longer have confidence in the government especially the military stationed in the area.

 

"The last time they attacked us, the government was with us. The military are there. I was surprised the military could not respond. We could chase them. They left because it might.

 

"Government saw boys when they came. They could not be able to wage them because of their gun strength. Government just relax and also watched them attack us and go."

 

GodFirst who pointed out that series of peace accords had been signed between the two communities and the government said the Ogbe-Ijoh people had always breached same without any consequences meted on them by the Delta State Government and the military.

 

The President of Aladja Youth,Comrade Festus Umukoro corroborated the position of the President of Aladja Community Council,ACC noting that the Ogbe-Ijoh people recently attacked them and injured many of their Indigenes.

 

He said soldiers allegedly ran away during the attack.

 

Umokoro also said there are rumors that the Ogbe-Ijoh people had perfected plans to attack them saying,"We are still waiting for them."

 

A Coordinator of the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh Peace Vanguard, Comrade Bezi Ighotegwolor expressed sadness over the happenings between the two communities.

 

He noted that his counterpart in Ogbe-Ijoh is not also happy over the matter. He said,"It is surprising that so many of the people who stood as peace ambassadors in Ogbe-Ijoh are now people who are calling for war especially Victor Akemetubo , present Ijaw Youth Council Chairman in Ogbe-Ijoh.

 

"Even at that,peace is priceless. We are also calling for peace. The Ogbe-Ijoh people should embrace peace so that this issue could be resolved amicably.

 

"The Aladja people when we talk to them,they listen to us. That was why the phase I of the boundary demarcation was done even when the Aladja people were protesting, we came in and appealed to them and they listened to us. 

 

"We also expect our counterpart from   Ogbe-Ijoh to talk to their people to accept the boundary demarcation presently."

 

While noting that the disputed land belongs to Aladja people, Bezi said,"We are peacemakers and we have let go so much of our land. But we will advice the Ogbe-Ijoh people to sheath their swords and embrace peace. War is not friendly. Peace is friendly. War lives in its wake, sorrow, tears and blood while peace brings joy,happiness, growth."

 

 

 

A former President of Aladja Community Council,Chief(Engr ) Paulson Okobiebi who spoke with Our Correspondent said Aladja Community had always been under the attacks of the Ogbe-Ijoh people.

 

Chief Okobiebi said said the recent attack by the Ogbe-Ijoh people left so many people wounded in Aladja Community. 

 

He blamed the Delta State Government for not being able to settle the agelong boundary dispute between them and their Ogbe-Ijoh neighbors. 

 

Chief Okobiebi who gave a historical background of how the crisis between the two communities said,"The aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh crisis did not started with the commissioner of land. I grew up here as a small boy and there was one masquerade a used to do dance in Ogbe-Ijoh in those days. I used to go there as a 6 years -10 years old boy and  aladja women were farming around their tatch houses, that tells me that this land belongs to Aladja and when they sun their clothes small clothes and son is outside Aladja women will query them why are you people doing this. Bring your clothes outside you don't want my plants to grow take these things out take them away from this place, remove your clothes eyewitness 8 and life."

 

According to him,"And at that time am sure you don't have more than 20 houses in Abuja, when I means houses, tautch houses not in moard house, tartch house, not now that we 're talking about buildings. 

 

"They will know houses in that time what they were building there was farm houses fishing farm houses they have there but today I'm surprised by the generosity I will call it a generosity intact  they acquired that thing by Force, they acquired those land, that thing they are claiming now by Force that is why, each time they say let's swear, bring the soil of this land, put it in a drink and let's swear with it, you will drink it and I will drink it, if this land is your own, they refused to drink. And they will not drink it because they know for sure it's not their own. Is this to say that none of the Aladja indigenes gave them the land? Am not sure, am not seeing it, all these land were acquired by Force.

 

"Since 2hen this crisis started, 

The first crisis started before 1995 because I know, it started 1983. Because the then Bendel state intended to build a housing estate some were along there, surprisedly the name we saw was warri South, that time warri South West has not been created, and we said what? This land belongs to us, this land dose not belongs to them warri South, so we protested against it and the housing estate was stop. So the crisis began then.

 

"Then I remember when the road was to be constructed to Ogbe-ijaw, they came here begging and the Bizi familyfamily refused that no. They came to negotiate with aladja as a community and aladja said if you are ready to pay compensation for what you are ready to distroy . But the Bizi family said no, we own the land is not Aladja that owns the land, because it's family that owns land here. So the negotiation between aladja and Ogbe-ijaw dose not go well with us. So Bisi family took them to court and worn them in court. And the court said okay, these are the owners of the land, go and negotiate with them. 

 

"So there was an out of court settlement between Ogbe-Ijoh and AladjaAladja. The papers are there there, the court wrote it there and they are there. So it show that this land belongs to aladja.

 

"This war everyday I don't understand were is coming from, I really don't understand were Ogbe-ijaw is coming From, they are claiming that the 1955 gajet of the discission/division between westhan Urhobo and Warri division. 

 

"Am talking of division now. They are reallying on that jatsing line that has course so many trouble between the Urhobos and the Itsekiri, you remember In 1976 the war between ekpa and ubedji, it's still the same Jackson line. That was drawn abotralling to favor the Itsekiris, you understand. 

 

"Because in the then election proceedings that 1955, the Action group NCNC , Urhobos supported the NCNC and the Itsekiris were on the side of the ACTION GROUP. Action group worn the election. To purnich  the Urhobos for supporting the NCNC  . That is why that Jackson line was made so that both sides of the warri river could be giving to the Itsekiris, not to even Ijaw, Ijaw is just cashing on the situation, at that time Ijaw knew nothing, this Ogbe-ijaw people they are talking now, they knew nothing about it.

 

"So, the land actually was drawn so that it can become part of the warri South, but fortunately or unfortunately the Ogbe-Ijoh is the opportunity of that land. You, you know, that can not be a boundary between communities. That cannot be traditional boundaries. So the Ekoko panel that was set up, that was the Crux of the things detamine the general boundary so that we can adjust this local government boundaries.

 

 

"Ogbe-Ijoh, we went on that panel, there was two representative from Aladja, two representative from Ogbe-Ijoh Three representative of government. The panel came with a mejority report. 

 

Prof. Abednego Ekoko administrative panel of enquiry came with a report, Ogbe-Ijoh refused to accept that report, the two other members went and wrote a minority report, very offensive one.

 

"Okay, this one, the report was not made public because of the political thing or sentiment, then that report that were writing to two people, were writing by the Ogbe-Ijoh reps, so the government sat on the two reports and out with opposition, this is our stand, then gave it to then surveyor general to go and implement, that surveyor general came here and implement the minority report that was written by two Ogbe-Ijoh reps. That was what the surveyor general was putting on ground here, Aladja then protested, 

 

"Because we now told our survio, what is happening here? Our surveyor came and tool the GPs reading and plotted it and saw that it was the minority report, then the aladja protested. 

 

"And a meeting was called to the then secretary of the state government, Ovie agas which shamelessly, the surveyor general said look at the report, and I brought out the majority report, and the government officials were all a shame, so we left that meeting, and that is were we are still today.

 

"Then luckily, government did nothing again because it is clear. Then the youth of both communities took off the gunleft from the peace vanguard. 

 

Aladja Ogbe-Ijoh peace vanguard. Because we wanted peace, we keyed in let see if what the elders could not do, the youth could do it. 

 

"They went to the low caurse nothing tangeble came out, and we were going like that, but that one gave birth to this Local demarcation committee, by the two local government councils. 

 

 

"The army, police plus the two local government councils were not involved. 

 

"Infact what they said, the two people were meeting, that is Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja, that is what they said. And Aladja had rest, I was a member of that group, we met over 14 times but we could not come out with anything.

 

"So the local council step in to say, they want this thing done. The two local government councils, they want this thing done, then the army and the police the came, and they said, okay if you too say you can not do it we will help you do it. 

 

"Where do you say is the boundary in Aladja? And we say this is the place. And they ask Ogbe-ijoh where did you say is the boundary? And the Ogbe-Ijoh this is it. And the two local government councils head, army and the police said no. With What you have given to us is here, but we want it here. 

 

"When you are going to Ogbe-Ijoh on the right side that was what was done. It two councils, army and the police said this is where they want. You have said here but this is what we want. 

 

"And that is the one on the right side when you are going to Ogbe-Ijoh. When it came to the left side it's the same thing that was supposed to happen, it happened now, Ogbe-Ijoh said no, they will not accept it. 

 

 

"Then the next thing we saw, it's an ultimatum to government,  I was thinking it, where are they going to fight government, are they going to fight government in Asaba. It wasn't up to 7days, they came attacking, fighting Aladja. What you are seeing on ground today, that is the beginning of it. 

 

 

"You gave ultimatum to government, you are not fighting government, you came with guns and start shooting Aladja people, is that the government you gave 7days ultimatum to. is it right?  So what you are seeing on ground today. That is the beginning of what you are seeing on ground today now.

 

"The army told us when we were there on the right side, that any Community that refused to abide what they have come to do, that it's enough, they want this fight ended. Why is it that the Ogbe-Ijoh have defile that order on the left side and the is doing as if that they are not ready to do anything, they should deploys teams and let what they have done on the left side stay.

 

"They did it on the right side we protested because that one it was seen clearly that aladja land was cut and giving to Ogbe-ijaw, but because it's peace we want, we kept quiet, the army said don't worry and we kept quiet. But now in the left side, Ogbe-ijaw Is difliling the government, army, councils and the police and they are doing nothing about it. 

 


Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)
ISSN 2354 - 4104


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Nkanteen Juliet
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