Okowa sets up eight-man panel to probe Ogbe-Ijoh/Aladja clashes
Eager to find a lasting solution to the unending Ogbe-Ijoh/Aladja communal clashes, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday set up a panel of inquiry headed by Professor Abednego Ekoko as its chairman to find a lasting solution to the lingering crises.
Both communities clashed again last March and unconfirmed sources said two persons were.
While inaugurating the panel, the governor decried the effect of boundary crisis not only on peace and security of the communities and the state but also on development, investments and the state’s economy.
He said: “This administration is always committed to the pursuit of peace and security in all communities, boundary crisis has continue to create hate among ourselves and our youths who are now trained to see each other as enemies, we need to do the right thing which is to settle for peace, so as to allow development to take place.
“Boundary crisis is inimical to orderly development and also creates image problems for the State. Such acts contribute to frustration and disenchantment experienced by members of the society. Economically, it can scare away potential investors and the relocation of existing industries in our communities to other States, thereby creating avoidable economic challenges for our state”, Okowa said.
The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in all communities in the state and urged them to explore all available means of dialogue to settle their differences.
Governor Okowa who charged the Panel of Inquiry to handle their responsibility with fairness, due diligence, transparency and impartiality reminded them that “ we have had two Panels of Inquiry in the past, the Justice Azinge’s Judiciary Commission in 1996 and Justice Frank Nwolu’s Panel Of Inquiry in 2009.
Both proffered solutions but unfortunately the crisis continued over time.”
He listed the panel’s terms of reference to include to: demarcate and survey the boundary between Udu and Warri South West Local Councils ; survey and demarcate the extent of the land in dispute between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw communities; and recommend actions to be taken by Delta State Government to finally resolve the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw crisis and sustain mutual inter-communal relations.
Responding on behalf of the Panel, the Chairman, Prof. Ekoko assured Governor Okowa that they would carry out their assignment diligently and proffer lasting solutions to the boundary dispute.