By EGUFE YAFUGBORHI & AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE
WARRI — MOVES to amicably resolve the crisis rocking oil-rich Ugborodo community in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, suffered a major setback, weekend, with the community rejecting the appointment of Mr Austine Oborogbeyi as Chairman of yet to be fully reconstituted Escravos Processing Zone, EPZ, Interface Committee.
The state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, had announced Oborogbeyi, a lawyer and Delta Internal Revenue Board member, as the new Ugborodo EPZ Interface Committee Chairman following his nomination by the Olu of Warri, Ogiamwe Atuwatse II. The committee was earlier dissolved over factional differences in the community.
At a meeting in Ode-Ugborodo presided over by Olaja-Orori (Spiritual Head), Benson Omadeli, Eghare-Aja, elders and interest groups unanimously rejected the state government’s choice of Oborogbeyi as the new committee chairman, describing him as an imposition.
At the meeting, which was not attended by the Thomas Eriyitomi’s faction, Olaja-Orori Omadeli said: “The Olu and Governor Uduaghan cannot decide for the Ugborodo people. Even under military dispensation, government never meddled in Ugborodo affairs. We reject the imposition of Oborogbeyi on us.
“Ugborodo has no factional leadership. The fifth columnist created it. You can see the traditional authority including myself, the Eghare-Aja, Wellington Ojoghor and the Registered Trustee, Pa Eworitsemogha Shebi, are in charge of our affairs. The community will choose its EPZ committee and deal with the Federal Government on this laudable EPZ project ceded to us.”
The community said it would sanction embattled leaders, who masterminded the arrest and arraignment of the Spiritual Leader and others in court over sundry charges.