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Agip ignites communal crisis in Burutu communities

By Emma Arubi
WARRI—Operations of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in riverine Burutu local government council area of Delta State have stirred up multiple land ownership problem, with the Gbekebo people charging the traditional ruler of Obotebe kingdom to desist from threatening the company, insisting that the land belongs to them.

The Gbekebo Progressive Forum (GPF), in a statement signed by Chief Samuel Zipamoh and others, stated that the threat to disrupt NAOC operations allegedly issued by the people of  Obotebe kingdom was a slap on the good people of Gbekebo community who are the real owners of the land in question.

They described the Obotebe people as settlers who were given permission by them to stay in their present abode.

According to Gbekebo people, Obotete community has no right to lay claim to land that does not belong to it and charged the royal father to show proof of ownership and stop being economical with historical facts for the benefit of future generations.

“We hereby call on the Ebenanaowei of Obotebe clan, HRH S.O. Akemotubo, Ezewu 1 to desist from parading himself as the owner of the affected territory (Obotebe, Labulouseigha, Kenelougbene and Atiri) acquired by NAOC.

“We also want to advise NAOC and all government agencies working in this territory to henceforth deal with Gbekebo community,” the GPF said.

It maintained that any one that does otherwise would be taken up and brought before the appropriate quarters.
The Gbekebo people, according to GPF, “extended hands of fellowship to their brothers (Obotebe and its territory) who came to seek temporary stay on their land and this kind gesture should not be misconstrued as a right for ownership claims.

“We want to advise the Ebenanaowei not to be economical with their historical facts and existence to younger generations and the general public.”


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