RE:PRESS STATEMENT ON IMMINENT DANGER OVER ATTEMPT TO FORCEFULLY DEMARCATE OGBE-IJOH LAND AS BOUNDARY LINE BETWEEN ALADJA/OGBE-IJOH COMMUNITIES: A REFUTAL.

Your Excellency, this press statement and refutal has become necessary in the light of the unauthorized and politically motivated press statement signed by a few self-serving mercenaries, who will stop at nothing to commercialize every opportunity including the loss of lives and properties of Ogbe-Ijoh people. That press conference does not by any means represent the views of the generality of Ogbe-Ijoh people, as we do not exult in endless wars and bloodshed.

While we do not altogether subscribe to the hurried and unannounced commencement of the boundary demarcation exercise by the two Council Chairmen ( Mr. Is Taiye Tuoyo, Chairman Warri South West local Government Council and Mr. Jite Brown, Chairman of Udu Local Government Council) purportedly at your instance and directive, for sundry reasons including but not limited to the fact that our Council Chairman did not have the courtesy to pre-engage our people, not even the members of the land demarcation committee, before embarking on the said boundary demarcation exercise; it is public knowledge that there was a subtle attempt to alter the original map which the committee was working with that led to the stoppage of the exercise. It would have been proper for the Chairmen to brief the communities in their respective Council area . This gap caused apprehension in some quarters, and albeit, we would wish that our representatives are part (observers) of whatever team or committee, which your excellency may deem necessary/ expedient to carry out an unbiased boundary demarcation exercise, for the sake of lasting peace. None the less, we never met as a people to review the development nor did we resolve that a press statement should be issued to the government.

Your Excellency, we are aware that the boundary dispute between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh is big business for a few (and we can see their fruits), but we are tired of loosing our sons and brothers for an avoidable crisis. This crisis has hampered development in no small way, and as law abiding and peace loving people, we shall continue to wholeheartedly support any constructive effort geared towards a permanent resolution of this age long boundary dispute with our Aladja neighbours. This is the position of the generality of Ogbe-Ijoh people, that we shall explore all legitimate means of actualizing permanent peace and cessation to the destruction of lives and properties. We shall not foreclose other alternative dispute resolution efforts including dialogue, so long as it does not undermine or contravene the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

We wish to put it on record that there are institutions that govern Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, and that Hon Denbofa Oweikpodor is not a member of any, neither is he the Spokesman of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, nor are his co-travellers the accredited representatives of any of the organs of governance of the Ogbe-Ijoh people. Hon Denbofa Oweikpodor might have at some point in the past been selected to speak for the Kingdom in an adhoc capacity; but that privilege is neither a right nor a customary duty which he can commercialized for personal gains.

We therefore call on His Excellency to discountenance the said politically motivated press statement, as they do not represent the views of Ogbe-Ijoh people. The people of Ogbe-Ijoh Kingdom deeply appreciate and laud the efforts of your government in this peace building exercise targeted at a permanent solution to this boundary dispute with our neighbours. We urge you not to relent but to see this process to its end.

We say no to further bloodshed in our land.

Signed:

Chief John Ajemutolu
(Chairman, Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Traditional Council)

Chief Victor Okiri
(Chairman, Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Governing Council)

Mr. Kenneth Ikoro
(President, Ogbe-Ijoh Youth Council)

Elder Francis Boukan
(Chairman, Elders Council)

Chief (Mrs) Rose Donokoromo
(Chairman, Women Council)

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