Ben Dunno, Warri
A renewed violence between Ogbe-Ijoh/Aladja communities in Delta State broke out, on Tuesday, leaving in its wake one person dead and six others reportedly injured.
The Daily Sun reliably gathered that the crisis started from Ogbe-Ijoh community, in Warri South West Local Government Area around 9:30a.m. when youths engaged neighbouring Aladja in a gun battle.
It was learnt that at the end of the gun duel between both warring ethnic groups, one person was allegedly killed and six others who were critically injured rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Parents and guardians were forced to hurriedly withdraw their children from school as a result of the attacks while some women groups blocked the entrance to Aladja community due to sporadic gun shots from the area.
A former President of Aladja Community Council, Hon. Tabuko Kabedje, who was spotted rushing one of the injured victims to the hospital, alleged that Ogbe-Ijoh people were the aggressors, saying “Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba are attacking us.”
However, another source, who pleaded anonymity, claimed that Aladja people started the renewed crisis which started on Sunday, last week.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner, representing the Ijaw ethnic nationalities on the board of Delta state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Chief Favour Izoukumor, has solicited an unbiased reporting of the age-long Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh communal crisis in order to assist the state government find a lasting solution to the protracted feud.
Making the appeal at a dinner held, in Warri, last weekend to mark the birthday of the South-South Regional Editor of The Nation Newspaper, Mr Shola O’neil, the Commissioner noted that only an objective reportage of the crisis that could help the government in making decisive pronouncements on how to end the crisis.
According to him, “I have decided to be very careful in whatever comment I made about the Aladja and Ogbe -Ijoh crisis because I happen to have a link with both ethnic groups and would not want to compromise any of them and that’s the more reason why I’ve always requested that Journalists reports based on their findings of the true position to things in the area so as to assist the government in its efforts at finding lasting solutions to the crisis”.
“No doubt the state government has shown a lot of commitments in resolving this crisis but it would still rely on neutral and objective reporting of the events in the area which only the Journalists as the ‘Fourth Estate of the Realm’, can provide before making certain decisions that would help in proffering lasting solutions to the issues that often leads to the crisis in the area”.
He explained that the area in question has lost so much in terms of the human capital development policy of the Okowa’s administration, especially in the area of the SMART and YAGEB agenda, adding that the earlier peace returns to the area, the better it is for the people in the area.
“And that’s why am going to be appealing to the media to be more objective in reporting this crisis, as your reports would go a very long way in making it possible to having a workable solution to the protracted crisis in the area”, he said.
While appreciating the media for projecting the good work of the state government in terms of the human capital and infrastructural development of the state, Izoukumor, canvassed for more support for the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led PDP administration, especially as the 2019 electioneering year approaches.
He also commended the media for the good reportage extended to the activities of DESOPADEC over the years and urged that such cooperation continues even in this new year.