The leaders of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Delta State who have been warring in recent days have signed a peace and security pact to mark the end of the conflict.
This came after the Nigerian Army’s Commanding Officer 3 Battalion in Effurun waded into the lingering boundary crisis.
According to Punch Metro, the military’s intervention in the bloody boundary dispute prompted the leaders of the two communities and other stakeholders to convene a peace conference on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Government House Annex in Edjeba, Warri metropolis.
On Friday morning, one person was confirmed dead after an inter-communal dispute over boundary demarcation between the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities of Udu and Warri South-West Local Government Areas took a dangerous turn.
During Saturday’s peace meeting, representatives from the two communities were reportedly given the opportunity to express their grievances, after which it was made clear that there was a need to discard all animosities and agree to a truce, to which they agreed.
As a result, in the pact signed at the end of the meeting, copies of which were seen by journalists, the leaders of the warring Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities agreed that peace should be maintained by both communities in the future.
“From now on, the two communities will not attack each other over disputed land.”
“And that, if any breach of peace occurs,” the agreement stated, “the persons found to be involved will be dealt with squarely.”
Although the general security situation in Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities remains relatively calm but unpredictable, “troops of Operation Delta Hawk will continue to dominate the area with patrols and show of force in conjunction with other security agencies to forestall any threats to the fragile peace,” according to the peace pact.
The peace pact was signed by three representatives from each community: Chief C.C.I. Whiliky, Comrade Shell Okakota Godfirst, and Chief Ottoogbiru Vetah for Aladja, and Chief Anthony Jolomi, Hon. Denbota Oweikpodor, and Chief Lucky Oromoni for Ogbeijor. It was also signed by CSP Aliyy Shaba and SP KKabiru Audu, the Divisional Police Officers in charge of the two communities.
The meeting’s major decisions were “that the demarcation of the disputed boundary area between the two communities be suspended until further notice;
“That the Governor or a Delta State Government delegation would visit the disputed boundary area before resuming the demarcation exercise;”
“That the leaders of the feuding communities stop threatening each other.” Furthermore, any leader or community member found guilty of breaching the truce would be severely punished in accordance with the law going forward.
“That all weapons and ammunition still being held in any of the communities be voluntarily surrendered to security agencies,” he said of the peace pact between the warring Delta State communities.