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Nobody died in Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh Crisis a Delta CP.

NO life was lost in Monday's mayhem that engulfed warring community's of Aladja and Ogbe Ijoh in Udu and Warri South local government areas of Delta State.

This was the submission of the Delta State Police Command led by the State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Mustafa, who described as false claims of multiple deaths during the melee.

Both communities, on Tuesday, had traded claims and allegations of killings and destruction of property.

Aladja, of the Urhobo stock, has accused men of the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun, of taking sides with their Ijaw neighbours in Ogbe-Ijoh and killing nine of its people.

The community accused soldiers from 3 Battalion, Effurun, of killing nine of its indigenes, just as Ogbe-Ijoh community also alleged that armed youths from Aladja killed nine of its own indigenes.

The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) had backed the claim by Aladja when its President-General, Joseph Taiga, in a statement, called on the Federal Government and the army authorities to investigate the alleged incident and prosecute those found taking sides with Ogbe-Ijoh against Aladja.

But the army had denied the claims by Aladja, describing it as part of the plot by some communities in some parts of the country to blackmail the nation's armed forces.

It said its men were drafted to the communities to restore peace and security and did not fire a single shot in spite of provocations by Aladja armed youths.

The Delta police boss, Mustafa debunked the claims of deaths and military violence, saying they were false.

'No death was known to the police. Eight persons were wounded in Ogbe-Ijoh side and they are stable.

'It is not true. The first victim, whose house was burnt, is Ijaw. We don't take sides. The situation was brought under control; you could have imagined what would have been the consequences now,' he maintained.

Meanwhile, a Niger Delta rights activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has called on the Delta State government to take a firm position toward ending the lingering crisis between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Udu and Warri South-West Local Government Areas.

Comrade Mulade, who is the National Coordinator, Center for Environmental Peace and Justice (CEPEJ), made the call following renewed hostilities, which led to burning of houses, injuries and alleged death of persons on both sides.

Speaking with journalists in Warri, Comrade Mulade charged the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to rise above political sentiments and actively find a lasting solution towards ending the destructive communal clash.

He urged the governor to use his position as the Chief security officer of the state to adopt practical steps aimed at restoring peace and security to Ogbe-ijoh and Aladja.

'The government must take a firm stand even if it means displeasing some political allies as the committees set up to solve the problem have proved unproductive and failed woefully. However, the State government must stop the business of unproductive committees and face the reality of ending the unnecessary bloodshed between the two neighbours,' he said.

He added that; 'The crisis is communal and not ethnic; Governor Okowa has at his disposal all mercenaries and apparatus to stop the fighting if political sentiments and interest is shelved'.

According to him, 'People's lives are being wasted and some unproductive committees enjoy their new jobs of compiling report upon a report that is disconnected from the reality of the crises. Governor Okowa should call a spade a spade regardless of who is angry or benefiting from the crises, the government should stop playing politics with peoples lives.'

Comrade Mulade further noted that the crisis has hindered development, business and social economic activities in Warri South-West and Udu Local government Areas, adding that the governor as a Chief security officer in the State is saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties by ensuring that peace and security are not compromised for any reason.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Oct 24, 2018
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