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Ijoh clashes: Ijaw youths blame Delta govt over protracted Aladja/Ogbe

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ogbe-Ijoh- Warri Clan Chapter has reportedly passed a vote of no confidence on Delta state Government over the protracted Ogbe-Ijoh/Aladja land dispute which has left many dead and properties worth millions of naira destroyed. This came against the backdrop of alleged killing of two persons and destruction of properties on Friday as the two neighbouring communities again clashed over the age-long disputed land.

IYC Ogbe-Ijoh chapter, in a statement signed by its chairman, Comrade Smart Okosu, said that the state government should be blamed for the crisis because government have not been proactive enough in the implementation of earlier peace agreement and conditions handed the communities.
He claimed that the Aladja people have always reneged on the peace agreement reached with Ogbe-Ijoh people with the state government allegedly doing nothing about enforcing the accords.

Recounting their ordeals, Okosu lamented that several Ogbe-Ijoh indigenes and non-indigenes have been allegedly killed by Aladja community who they accused of violating the peace deals by continuously obstructing the free movement of goods and services to Ogbe-Ijoh.

“Aladja people are signatories to many peace agreement in the past, yet they keep on violating the order, to say that they are signatory is a mere formality… Aladja people are lawless and have no respect for government and constituted authorities but whom do we blame in all this?…we blame the state government who has never in any way caution them.

“The number of persons who have been molested and maimed by Aladja people are too numerous to recount…yet there is no singular action from the Delta State Government to that effect…Therefore, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Ogbe-Ijoh Clan chapter hereby pass vote of no confidence on the state government for keeping silent on the face of the incessant attacks on Ogbe-Ijoh community”.

But in a counter claim, Aladja community alleged that Ogbe-Ijoh community has been the ones fomenting trouble and frustrating government efforts at resolving the land dispute.

Giving a graphic details of the Friday incident, Aladja people alleged that rampaging members of the Ogbe-Ijoh community purportedly attacked them through neighbouring Esaba community road and the main Ogbe-Ijoh road, shooting sporadically with sophisticated weapons.

President-General of Aladja community, Mr. Elias Dogene, alleged that the Friday evening attack started immediately the Mobile Policemen with four Hilux vans who have been allegedly supporting the Ogbe-Ijoh people reportedly left the community porous for attack.

Dogene claimed that 30 minutes after the Mobile Policemen left, the rampaging Ogbe-Ijoh youths stormed Aladja community with sophisticated weapons, allegedly killing one Chicago Friday and Sunday Ovien and leaving many others injured.

“This incessant attack on us by Ogbe-Ijoh community is a strategy to distract the enquiry committee from doing its job because they may not have any tangible document to backup their claim on the land that does not belong to them,” Dogene alleged.

It would be recalled that Delta state Government had recently constituted an eight-member panel of inquiry which has former university don, Professor Abednego Ekoko as Chairman over the renewed crisis and had before now engaged stakeholders from both communities in peace parley tailored toward ending the prolonged crisis.

The panel had just commence sitting few days ago when the crisis erupted again on Friday, leaving two dead and scores injured.

It was learnt that two previous panels of enquiry set up by the state government had proffered recommendations but the communal clashes have continued regardless.

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