Land Dispute: Aladja, Ogbe-Ijoh Settlement Not In Sight
The land dispute crises brewing between Aladje and Ogbe-ijoh communities, Udu and Warri South West local government areas climax when an indigene of Aladja Community, Sunday Damijo was recently attacked and severely wounded while another, Doghor Blessing was held hostage by suspected Ogbe-Ijoh youths at about 2: 00 pm Tuesday 10th in the Community.
It was gathered that the Aladja Indigene, Damijo, a commercial motorcycle operator conveyed Blessing to the Ogbe-Ijoh Community Health Centre for medication when he was alleged attacked and injured by the suspected Ogbe-Ijoh youths while waiting for his passenger.
Damijo claimed that the suspected Ogbe-Ijoh youths allegedly attacked and injured him with bottles, cutlasses, knives, battle axe and guns before taking hostage his passenger, Blessing.
Damijo said he was at the community owing to the fact that a peace accord has been reached between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh Communities following the visit as well as closed door meeting with leaders of both sides with Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa recently.
Damijo noted that he narrowly escaped further injuries from the hands of the suspected Ogbe-Ijoh youths just as he expressed worries on the well about of his passenger, Doghor Blessing.
Narrating his ordeal, Damijo said, "I carried one passenger to Ogbe-Ijoh health centre for medication. So, reaching there I just drop the passenger and I was waiting for her to come out when about eight Ogbe-Ijoh youths came asking me if I am from Aladja and I said yes because I cannot deny my identity. Before I could say anything, they brought battle axe, bottles, cutlasses, knives and guns. One of them even shot at me. I was lucky to even drive the bike far and that was how I escaped. I just came to report so we could call the girl to know whether she is still alive.
“I even went there in the first place because they told us that the matter has been settled. I took it in mind that there was peace and that is why I went there”, he said.
Damijo vowed to take drastic actions if the relevant government authorities fails to act and caution the Ogbe-Ijoh people over the menace on him and the Aladja Community where it was alleged that they destroyed a building under construction at Iyeghe Quarter recently should Delta State Government failed to act fast.
President of Aladja Community Council, Mr. Elias Dogene confirmed the incident which he described as “unfortunate” and “unbecoming” of the Ogbe-Ijoh people especially after Governor Okowa had promised to settle the land dispute between the two communities.
Mr. Dogene who was represented by his 1st Vice President, Pastor Kingsley Vwavwahor who claimed that, "Suspected Ogbe-Ijoh youths allegedly stormed the community on Sunday and demolished a building under construction" noting that the attack and injury of the Aladja indigene, Sunday Damijo was a confirmation of the intelligence report they received that the Ogbe-Ijoh people would reprisal attack on them by Tuesday 10 or Wednesday 11 this week.
Mr. Dogene claimed the Ogbe-Ijoh people allegedly came to Aladja Community and shoots sporadically on daily basis.
Mr. Dogene said the Delta State Government should act fast and save the situation from deteriorating into a full blown war pointing out that, "We have been calming down our boys from retaliations. A stitch in time saves nine".
While noting that Aladja Community has maintained the path of peace, Mr. Dogene cautioned that should the government fails, "Everybody will defend himself because we will not fold our hands and watch them kill us" adding, "We will continue to maintain the peace.
In his reaction, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah told our correspondent that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba had waded into the recent crisis, saying “the place is now calm and the state government has set up a committee to look into the land dispute”.