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Governor Oborevwori’s Diplomatic Efforts in Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh Conflict”

Last updated on November 4th, 2023 at 10:18 am

The recent clashes between the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Delta State have presented a significant challenge for Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s nascent administration. This longstanding feud over land ownership has seen intermittent bouts of violence, despite peace accords in 2018 and 2022 aimed at fostering a more civilized approach to conflict resolution. Unfortunately, shortly after the new administration took office, the communities reverted to violent clashes.

In his inaugural address, Governor Oborevwori astutely acknowledged the troubling security breaches in the Warri area, including Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh. Recognizing that socio-economic improvement is crucial to sustained peace, he pledged special attention to Warri’s development. Rather than embracing this opportunity for growth, the communities opted for conflict.

As the Chief Security Officer of the state, Oborevwori swiftly deployed security forces to restore order, warning that troublemakers would face the full force of the law. He also committed to revisiting the White Paper on the contentious issue. Moreover, he engaged in quiet diplomatic efforts to facilitate collective understanding.

Traditional leaders from both Ijaw and Urhobo nations took it upon themselves to engage in similar diplomatic endeavors. Coordinated by the Ovie of Uvwie, HRM Abe I, Chairman of Urhobo Traditional Rulers Council, a delegation of Ijaw Traditional Rulers Forum led by HRM Elder (Capt) Joseph Timiyan, visited their Urhobo counterparts. HRM Major General Felix Mujakperuo, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe and Chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, played host to this significant meeting.

The gathering exemplifies Oborevwori’s commitment to inclusivity and partnership with royal leaders. As custodians of history, culture, and relations for both Urhobo and Ijaw nations, these leaders are actively engaged in mediation and arbitration, their united views expected to guide the process of revisiting the Government White Paper.

Ultimately, the leaders of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh hold the key to their communities’ futures. They face a critical choice: perpetuate mutual destruction and condemn their people to perpetual poverty, or embrace coexistence, peace, and tolerance for the promise of a new Warri. Governor Oborevwori wisely reminds them, “no amount of land is worth dying for because when you fight and kill yourselves, the land will still remain.”

It is incumbent upon them to recognize that without peace and stability, true development, prosperity, and progress remain elusive. This is particularly true for leaders who profit from violence, neglecting education and jobs in favor of guns and bullets.

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