Governor Oborevwori: It’s Time for Peace – Ending the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh Conflict

Warri will be given special attention - Read full text of Delta state governor’s inaugural speech

By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, the weight of history, and the aspirations of the people of Delta State rest upon your shoulders. It is time to act, to step forward as a leader who can bring an end to a decades-long conflict that has marred the lives of countless individuals and communities. The Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh conflict is a festering wound, and your office holds the key to its healing.

For too long, the Urhobo and Ijaw people of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Udu and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Delta State, have been living in a state of perpetual conflict, a conflict that has not only caused the loss of lives and property but has also severed the bonds of brotherhood and unity that once existed between these communities. It is an agonizing reality that even family members, divided by geography, can no longer visit one another without fear.

This land dispute, which has endured for over 40 years, has claimed many lives and left both communities scarred. The devastation is evident in the ruined and abandoned buildings that stand as silent witnesses to the violence that has plagued these lands. The land in question, comprising 1,236 hectares, has become a symbol of discord and suffering.

The conflict’s complexity is compounded by the difficulty in identifying the aggressors. It is a conflict where the dividing line between right and wrong is often blurred by the perspectives of those involved. The first recorded act of violence dates back to 1976, and the clashes took on a more severe form in the 1990s when sophisticated arms and ammunition were introduced.

While multiple commissions and panels have been established to investigate and recommend solutions, the conflict continues to claim lives, disrupt communities, and perpetuate suffering. The lack of political will to enforce the findings of these panels and the absence of concrete action have allowed the crisis to persist.

Governor Oborevwori, it is crucial to recognize that the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh conflict is not merely a local dispute; it is a humanitarian crisis. The loss of lives, the destruction of property, and the erosion of peaceful coexistence have far-reaching implications for Delta State as a whole. It is a crisis that demands a strong and unwavering leadership response.

We implore you, Governor Oborevwori, to take decisive action. The time for dialogue, reconciliation, and resolution is now. The road that separates these communities, once a lifeline, has become a symbol of division. It is time to reopen the road and restore access, facilitating the movement of people and fostering a sense of unity.

This is a moment for leadership and vision, to implement the recommendations of past commissions and panels and to put an end to the violence that has plagued these communities for too long. It is time to demarcate boundaries definitively and create the conditions for peaceful coexistence.

The people of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh yearn for peace, security, and the opportunity to rebuild their communities. As a leader, you have the power to make that vision a reality. Ending this conflict will not only bring relief to the affected communities but also provide a model for conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Delta State.

GbaramatuVoice strongly urges you, Governor Oborevwori, to act swiftly. The time is ripe to put an end to the suffering and prolonged conflict. With unity, collaboration, and unwavering determination, we can pave the way for a peaceful resolution to the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh conflict and create a brighter future for the people of Delta State.

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