Delta News

Vacate our land now or else…Ogbe-Ijoh youths tell Aladja community

2023: Okowa free to choose successor - Ijaw leader

…Aladja describes call as invitation to bloody gun battle

Youth leaders and stakeholders of Ogbe-Ijoh, headquarters of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state, have asked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to, as a matter of urgency, advise Aladja community in Udu Local Government Area to vacate their land or else hell will be let loose.

In a 30-paragraph quit notice issued, yesterday, after a meeting of Ogbe-Ijoh Youth Leaders/Stakeholders Forum at Ogbe-Ijoh, signed by chairman of the forum, Amb. Aken Edwin, chairman Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, Comrade Victor Akemotubo, Ogbe-Ijoh youth president, Comrade James Timadimene and fourteen others, they called on Gov. Okowa to do the needful.

The quit notice reads in part: “It is astonishing to realize that Delta state government couldn’t stand firm to defend the country’s boundary law of 1952, a document that’s clearly stating boundary lines of local governments and states in this country couldn’t be upheld in the case of Udu and Warri South West Local government areas.

“Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, the first occupants of the territory and whose communities have several treaties with the colonial masters, peacefully yielded to earlier plea of our tenants, Aladja community, to join their Urhobo division in 1952 which led to the shift of our original boundary with Ovwian Community and the establishment of the current local government boundary.

ALSO READ: LAND DISPUTE: Ogbe-Ijoh indigenes send SOS to Delta Govt over alleged attacks by Aladja assailants 

“We’ve always extended and maintained sincere relations and friendship with our neighbours, even to our detriment. We believe in peaceful coexistence, hence, we overlook issues that are capable of causing anarchy between our kingdom and her neighbours.

“In March 24, 2016, youths of Aladja came to Ogbe-Ijoh with cutlasses and guns in the presence of soldiers in the community, they butchered several persons including a soldier which led to the present situation at hand.

“On December 20, 2021, Aladja community directed their surveyor and representatives to back out of the state government boundary demarcation process and on 21st December, they came on speedboats to stop the process and shot at the military personnel and workers to truncate the process.

“We’ve over borne the inconsistent, insincere behaviour of Aladja community, they’ve shown their wickedness and unfriendliness to us and we’ll not tolerate any form of misbehaviour anymore.

“We therefore, call on Gov. Okowa to direct Aladja community to vacate our land or else we’ll reclaim our God-given land by any means necessary.”

Meanwhile, the Aladja community has reacted, saying that the recent call by Ogbe-Ijoh community  on them to vacate their ancestral home town is an invitation for another round of bloody gun battle between the two communities.

The Aladja community has called on Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to call the people of Ogbe-Ijoh and youths to order to avoid another round of bloody gun battle between the two communities.

The Aladja community in a rejoinder signed by the following persons on behalf of Aladja community, Comrade Ejovbo Ashe, chairman, Comrade Kingsley Krokele, Secretary General and  Diemuare Olokpa, Publicity Secretary, respectively.

The statement reads in part:

“We would not have responded to the vituperation of the Ogbe-Ijoh Youth Stakeholders Forum but for the sake of posterity we have to set the records straight and to let them know our stand. It is a very annoying thing that the Ogbe-Ijoh people are deliberately distorting recent history. Maybe the present generation of Ogbe-Ijoh people think the world has forgotten so soon how they came to live on the Aladja land after they were evicted from their land in present day Warri GRA.

“The Ogbe-Ijoh people should go and reclaim their land in Warri which one British Captain James evicted them from in 1908 and same land leased to the British by Chief Dore Numa.

“The present day Warri GRA was the ancestral home of the Ogbe-Ijoh people until 1908 when the British had need of land and evicted the Ogbe-Ijoh people from the land vide a lease on the land by Chief Dore Numa. After this eviction, the people of Aladja took pity on them and allowed them to squat on the far edge of the Aladja land. But this act of magnanimity has turned out to be the greatest undoing of the Aladja people today.

“The land in dispute is solely owned by the Aladja people. The land was deforested by the forebears of the Aladja people where they farmed for centuries before the piece of land was granted to the floating people of Ogbe-Ijoh after their eviction in 1908. It was five families from Ogbe-Ijoh who came to beg for a piece of land from Aladja after their eviction from Warri. When these families settled down there a few others came to join them and their numbers began to increase. These squatters are the ones calling Aladja their tenants now.

“We, the Aladja people are not dragging the Ogbe-Ijoh land in Warri with them. It is a known fact that the Warri GRA as it is presently, was the original home of the Ogbe-Ijoh people. They lay claim to that land and cannot at the same time claim to be sharing boundaries with Ovwian Community in Udu Local Government Area. The River Warri is the natural boundary between Aladja and and communities in Warri. And so it has been from time. But because Aladja took pity on the Ogbe-Ijoh people after their eviction from their homes they are now laying claims to our land and government is tactically supporting them to seize our lands by force. It will not happen.

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