By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”THE over 76 years old boundary dispute between the Ijaws of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West council and the Urhobo of Aladja in Udu council area of Delta state was resolved Wednesday in a historic gathering of key members from both communities at Orhuwhorun, with the two parties promising to abide by the agreement reached on the line of demarcation.
The boundary dispute that pitched both tribes in a battle sometime in 1986 was brought to a fruitful end by Chief Tunde Smooth led 3-man peace and reconciliation committee with the active support of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
The Chairman of Warri South-West local government council, Mr. George Ekpemupolo, led an eight member Ogbe-Ijoh delegation that included the Bolowei (Traditional Prime minister) and number two citizen of the kingdom, Chief William Tulu; Chief Tunde Smooth, Lucky Oromoni and five others to the country home of Chief John Egbetama where the final acceptance of boundary demarcation was announced amidst pomp and ceremony.
The Aladja delegation was led by the Udu Council local government Chairman, Dr. Henry Sakpra, supported by Chief Christian Wilikie and other prominent chiefs and key indigenes of Aladja community.
While Mr. Lucky Oromoni affirmed the acceptance of the agreed boundary demarcation on behalf of the Ogbe-Ijoh people, Chief Christian Wilikie affirmed same on behalf of the Aladja people, with the executive chairmen of both councils standing as witnesses to the historic event.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard on the auspicious occasion, the initiator of the peace/reconciliation move and Chairman of the 3-man committee, Chief Tunde Smooth, said â€œtoday is the happiest day of my life. I was born to meet this quarrel that I have by the Grace of Almighty God facilitated its resolutionâ€.
Other members of the committee are Chief Blessed John Egbetama (JP) and Mr. Jacob Ebah respectively.
On his part, Chairman of Warri South-West council, Mr. Goerge Ekpemupolo, appealed to both communities to go the extra mile in the spirit of total reconciliation to withdraw all pending cases on the boundary dispute from the courts of law.
In a similar vein, Dr. Henry Sakpra charged both communities to call their youths to order, as both the Ijaws and the Urhobos have pledged to be brothers and good neighbours.