$6m EPZ Project: Peace Deal Breaks Down As Ugborodo Leaders Reject Compromise Committee
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, February 02, (THEWILL) - Indications emerged at the weekend that the peace deal between the Ugborodo community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State and the State Government over the $6million Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project expected to be sited in Ogidigben may have broken down.
This followed the rejection on Saturday by Ugborodo leaders and elders of the compromise committee proposed by the Delta State Government to the community.
Arising from the enlarged stakeholders meeting at the Ugborodo town hall, the community leaders and elders disowned the Comrade Ovouzorie Macaulay-led committee set up by the Delta State Government to reconcile the factions in the Ugborodo crisis.
The State Government had mandated the committee to ensure that both Chief Thomas Ereyitomi and Hon.
David Tonwe factions nominate 10 persons each to make up the two persons from government side that would constitute the committee.
But the community leaders and elders at the weekend said both factions which had been laying claim to the Ugborodo Community Trust have since been disbanded.
They said there are no more factions in the community since Ereyitomi and Tonwe who had been at daggers drawn have been asked to step aside to ensure that peace reigns in the community.
In a unanimous agreement, the community said they have agreed to constitute the 21-member committee to interface between the people and the Federal Government and would resist any committee to be supervised by the Delta State Government.
The community leaders and elders said they would resist any interference by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on Ugborodo community's affair, particularly the EPZ project expected to be sited in Ogidigben.
While expressing gratitude to the Federal Government for the project, the elders and leaders said they have resolved to take over the affairs of the community and ensure they constitute a committee to liaise with state and Federal Government.
They said the committee would be constituted later after a consultative meeting by the leaders and elders of the community.
Present at the meeting were the spiritual head of Ugborodo (the Olaja-Orori),Mr.
Benson Dube Omadeli; (the Olaja-Orori), Eghare-Aja, Pa Wellington Ojogho; (traditional prime minister of Ugborodo), Pa Anderson Ebiecutan; J.
O Ayomike, M.
E Okoro, A.
L Eyeoyibo, Dr Lucky Akaruese, Wilson Akperi, Boyo Solomon, Moses Ejijala, Joseph Uwawah, Michael Ruwenor, among others.
"Our meeting today has nothing to do with factions.
There is no faction in Ugborodo.
We are the community leaders and we are saying we are the ones with the right to constitute a committee to interface with the federal and state government.
"There must be no imposition of persons.
We are not here to project any faction, we are projecting Ugborodo's interest, nothing more,' one of the leaders, Ejijala, was quoted as saying at the meeting.
When contacted on the new development, the Itsekiri youth president, David Tonwe, said he would abide by any decision reached by the community elders and leaders since the community is bigger than any individual.
In the same vein, Ugborodo youth president, Michael Logde, said the youths would abide by any decision reached by the leaders and elders on the committee to be set up to dialogue with the Federal and State Government over the EPZ project.
A faction led by Ereyitomi had recently raised the alarm that Tonwe's faction was trying to scuttle the agreement reached with the Delta State Government for the two factions to nominate 10 persons each to the committee.
Ereyitomi group had alleged that the Tonwe's group was allegedly planning to constitute the entire committee against the agreement earlier reached by both factions to sheathe their swords and allow each faction nominate persons into the committee.