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Ugborodo: Navy Moves To Ensure Implementation Of Peace Agreement

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Warns reconciled factions against fomenting fresh trouble

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 23, (THEWILL) â€' The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA) has intensified moves to ensure the implementation of the peace agreement that would enable the smooth take-off of the $16billion Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Ogidigben, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

This came few days after Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan inaugurated Ugborodo Peace and Reconciliation Committee to facilitate the peace process in the communities.

The Navy had on Thursday summoned members of the Ugborodo Peace and Reconciliation Committee and other stakeholders to a meeting held at the Naval Base in Warri as a follow up to the inauguration of the committee.

The Commander, NNS Delta, Captain Musa Gemu, said the meeting was to ensure that peace agreements reached are followed accordingly.

He said one of the agreements reached by the two factions who had reconciled was to ensure that all those who fled the community during the turbulent period return home peacefully.

The Navy Chief stressed that one task before the committee, which also involves security agencies, is to start ferrying people who were either 'banished' or fled the community on their own accord, back home. He therefore urged the members of the Committee to initiate the process.

He advised that in order to achieve genuine peace, the committee must encourage all those who fled the community during the period of the crisis to return back home.

'The reason why I called this meeting (this afternoon) is to follow up on the inauguration of the Udgorodo Peace Committee by His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State.

'You are all aware of the peace initiative of which you are part and parcel . Without peace in your community, development cannot take place.

'Therefore, having inaugurated the committee, in some parts of the agreement, members of the security agencies will have to be involved to see its implementation.

'The second aspect is that the peace committee members are required to work out how they can get the two communities together with the view of enlightening them,' he explained.

According to him, everybody in the two groups should be made to understand the peace process.

He said the Navy and other security agencies should also be involved in addressing the communities.

The third aspect of the peace process, he noted, is that the committee was advised to ensure that the security agencies are involved, adding, 'when you want to go and address the community, please we always want to be in picture of what you are doing'.

According to him, 'Whatever you are doing, let us know about it so we can play our role. It is not only the people of Delta State that should know. Other Nigerians want to see that peace is reigning in your community'

While allaying the fears of members of the Ugborodo community who often cry foul when they see detachment of Navy personnel in the community, the Navy Chief emphasised that security operatives are not enemies of members of Ugborodo community and Deltans in general as they are Nigerians.

He said that the security agencies will dispense justice according to the tenets of the agreement.

While warning against fresh crisis in the area, Captain Gemu urged all those still in possession of arms used during the crisis period to submit them to the security agencies.

'We are aware weapons were used during the crisis but whenever we come to mop up the communities, we don't find any, may be they bury them inside the swamp or they are hidden elsewhere, we don't know.

'But we are calling on this same peace committee to get back to the community as a body, talk to the youths, tell them to hand over the arms and ammunitions in their possession officially.

'After that, if there is any skirmishes, we will have no other option than to use the full wrath of the law on individuals that we found using weapons against their fellow brothers,' he said.

In his response, the Chairman of Ugborodo Peace and Reconciliation Committee, Barrister Austine Oboruegbeyi, thanked the Navy Chief for the initiative.

Oboruegbeyi stated that before now now, two distinct factions existed amongst the Ugborodo people, but was quick to add that they have fused together as one indivisible entity for the overall interest of Ugborodo people, Deltans and Nigerians at large.

He said it was in the best interest of the members of the committee to see that genuine peace and reconciliation was restored to the community, adding that they would ensure that the people were carried along in the scheme of things.