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Sir, I will like to start this letter by stating the obvious. We are in unusual and disturbing times. Aladja Community is going through a most challenging circumstance perhaps never experienced since the land dispute started in 1996. Some will even argue that the current tension in Aladja Community is probably more precarious than that which led to the outbreak of the Warri crisis in the 90’s.
Today, Aladja Community in Udu LGA of Delta State is under siege, not only by local merchants of violence from Ogbe-ijoh and Isaba Communities, both of Warri South West LGA but also by invited external Ijaw aggressors. These combined forces are deriving joy from killing, raping and maiming our people as well as taking over farm lands of innocent farmers of Aladja. The truth is that the violence unleashed on the Aladja people has escalated. The land conflict has evolved from provocative incursion into our land to planned,deadlier attacks for some years now.
His Excellency Sir, we have reviewed the way and manner the recent attack that took place on Sunday 21st day of November,2021 was executed and discovered that the perpetrators moved in unhindered from Ogbe-ijoh Community to launch the deadly attack which led to the death of Mr Daniel Gbikeke and serious injury of Mr Igbede Ighotegwonor, both of them,sons of Aladja. The Invaders came into Aladja through the military post set up by the Governor. How they manage to get past the military post baffles us greatly. Was there a collaboration or was it that the military the State Government spend millions of naira on monthly was not strong enough to withstand them? We are beginning to believe what political analyst, many of who are not Udu indigenes, have postulated. To their calculation, military and security machineries at the disposal of Delta State Government are being used against the Aladja people in particular and Udu people in general because of vested interest in this Government.For now, we are compelling ourselves to debunk this calculation.
It is on this note that we demand that the perpetrators of this unprovoked attack be arrested and made to face justice. We call on the Federal and the State Governments to perform their constitutional duty of preserving lives and property by taking immediate action against Mr Olu-Derimun Omaghomi, Secretary of Ijaw Youth Council, Western Zone and Mr. James E. Seyefa, the Youth President of Ogbe-ijoh who gave 14 days ultimatum to attack Aladja Community. They made do with their promises by attacking Aladja Community on Sunday,21st day of November,2021. Both of them and others linked to the attack must be arrested and prosecuted.
1.) The Delta State Government should implement the decisions reached by various panels of inquiry particularly the most recent one of Late Prof. Abednego Ekoko which was set up by the present State Government in the year 2016 to amongst other things; survey and demarcate the boundary between Udu and Warri South West LGAs of Delta State. The white paper should be implemented without fear or favour. We do not want to believe the rumour that because some highly placed people do not find the committee’s report favourable, your Government is not ready to implement it.
2.) The State Government should rework the security structures of both Communities, particularly that of Aladja Community that is at the receiving end by providing the needed facilities, equipment and mobility for police men, vigilantes and other security agencies for reinforcement on the buffer zone (disputed land/area).
3.) The State Government should stop those using State Security apparatus to kill and arrest the Aladja people after every attack by Ogbe-ijoh and Isaba people.
His Excellency Sir, we believe you will rise up swiftly to the occasion and act decisively to avert this pogrom against Aladja people. The contention out there is that what happened that Sunday afternoon was a dress rehearsal of what to expect in the months to come unless you act now according to the demands above. Although Aladja Community is known for peace, harmony and hospitality to all sojourners amongst them, the continuous killing of Aladja people shall no longer be tolerated as we shall take REVENGE henceforth unless the State Government acts quickly and decisively.
Furthermore,we appeal to you Sir, to kindly reconsider the “curfew” imposed on Aladja Community. A curfew that is from 6am to 6pm is no longer a curfew but a lockdown of thirteen hours. This is bad for the socio-economic activities of the people who for the better part of 2020 were under global, Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The real solution to the problem is not the curfew but the implementation of the demands given above, amongst which is the implementation of the report of the committee which you set up.
Finally,His Excellency Sir, I will want to leave it at this now, praying and hoping that the God Almighty,who has chosen you to lead Delta State at this particular time in our history will grant you everything you require to keep our State,Udu LGA and Aladja Community safe,secure and peaceful. We believe strongly that you are non partisan and that you will act without favour.
NOTE: By this letter,we also put on notice the following authorities and stakeholders.
- The DSP, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
- Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive,
Member, Fed. House of Representatives.
- Hon Uviejitobor Peter
- Chief Jite Brown,
Executive Chairman, Udu LGC.
- 3 Battalion Nigerian Army Barracks,Warri.
- The Commissioner of Police, Delta State.
- Delta State Command, State Security Service.
Signed: Cmrd Esiefarienrhe Emmanuel.
(Udu Youth President)