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By Moses Darah
Presently, the risk of driving through the roads in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State is comparable to visiting Sambisa forest in Borno State or travelling through the dreaded Abuja-Kaduna highway.
This is not unconnected with the fact that the technically defeated Boko Haram terrorists from the North and their counterparts, the Fulani herdsmen block the Sapele-Amukpe-Eku-Abraka and Osubi-Orerokpe-Eku roads daily to pick motorists and travellers like chicken.
In 2003, at the inception of the second tenure of Gov James Onanefe Ibori’s administration, the Odidigborigbo of Africa, was emphatic about his determination to confront, head-on, the insecurity in Warri posed by the lingering ethnic feud. To achieve this, Ibori had to relocate to Warri. This helped a great deal to get the troubled oil city back on its feet.
Recall that in his 2015 inaugural speech, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Okowa also outlined meaningful peace building platforms aimed at political and social harmony as part of the five point agenda encapsulated in the acronym SMART. This was reemphasised in 2019 with the stronger Delta agenda. At this moment, it is expected that Okowa adopts the strategy of relocation. The newly established security outfit, Operation Delta Hawks should lead the way. All the political appointees from Ethiope East should be on ground. Security agents should patrol the roads daily and there should be effective checkpoints at Okurekpo junction, Igun, Redeemed Christian Church of God to Baptist Theological Seminary, Eku, Oria-Erho to Reserved in Abraka, and across the railway tracks in Delta State.
The kidnapped victims receiving medical attention at different hospitals in Abraka who have recounted their sad ordeals said that the herders lead their victims on endurance trek through the railway tracks from Eku or Abraka to Agbor or Benin. Genuine efforts should be made by the Ekwueme of Nigeria to put an end to this. The time to act is now.