Urhobo leaders urge Clark, Bozimo to intervene in land dispute
The President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Moses Taiga has urged the Ijaw national leader, Edwin Clark, to intervene in alleged encroachment on its land to avert another communal clash.
Taiga made the call after a meeting with the traditional ruler of Agbarha-Warri, Orhifi Ememoh II and his counterparts in Udu and Aladja kingdoms.They also tasked another Ijaw leader and former Minister of Police Affair, Mr. Broderick Bozimo to stop the alleged encroachment.
According to him, the intervention was necessary to avert a repeat of the perennial clashes in the area, which have claimed many lives over the years.He cited the past clashes to include Aladja-Ogbe Ijoh communal clashes and the Agbasa-Warri and Ijaw Meinbutus crises.
Ememoh II told the leaders that the Agbasa people were opposed to another crisis in Warri and urged the Ijaw leaders to stop laying claim to the land where the “common market” is situated.
He said the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ovie Agas did not address the real issue when he visited the area recently.The UPU leader stressed that the situation had made the state government to create a buffer zone by deploying police in the boundary between the affected communities.
The government also raised a probe panel to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the crises in order to find a lasting solution to them.However, government is yet to take action on the panel report, which it has since submitted to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Responding, Clark told The Guardian that it was untrue that the Ijaw people were encroaching on Urhobo land.According to him, the Ogbe-Ijoh market is not located in Agbasa land.
He said: “The view that Ogbe-Ijoh people trespassed into Agbasa land is very untrue. I’m looking at a map drawn as far back as 1906 showing the map of Warri. In it, New Warri is synonymous with Ogbe-Ijoh and that includes the Ogbe-market.
“Agbasa and Okere land are on the outskirts of new Warri as villages outside the area. New Warri stretches from Government Reservation Area (GRA) to John Holt, Robert Road, Swamp Road and others.” According to Clark, Bowen Avenue is the boundary between the Urhobo and Ijaw in Warri.
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