By Egufe Yafugborhi
WARRI—The Federal Government, yesterday, made progress in its mediation in volatile Ugborodo, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, as warring factions agreed to give the military unrestrained entry to keep peace and resettle residents displaced by the leadership crisis in the community.
The decision was reached at a meeting in Warri, with Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), counsel to the Chief Thomas Ereyitomi-led faction and Mr. Festus Keyamo, representing the David Tonwe/Alex Ideh faction, in attendance.
Navy Capt Musa Gemu, Commander, NNS Delta, who hosted the meeting, said: “Recently, certain developments resulted in breach of the Federal Government peace process, particularly by Aruton and Madangho youths’ resistance to Navy’s effort at resettling displaced persons.
“In the last meeting to resolve these issues, some leaders have been evasive. Today (yesterday), I am happy that not only are all the key leaders of both sides present, their counsel witnessed and affirmed the final resolutions.
“We have all agreed that both sides have one week to go home to sentitise their people and the military will come to resettle exiled residents.
“I have realised that some persons are profiting from the unrest and violence in Ugborodo. This is unacceptable. We have agreed there shall be no form of protest, violence, resistance; no act to prevent the military from coming in to keep peace.
We have the right of self-defence when the need arise. Let me warn that we shall not condone any provocation after this agreement.”
Keyamo said: “We have agreed that there should be peace in all the communities of Ugborodo. We also agreed that displaced persons will return. You have no right to deprive anybody from staying anywhere in Nigeria.”
On how the resolution can reconcile grievances of victims of penultimate week’s destruction of property in and outside Ugborodo, Chief Akpofure said: “One of the factions said they are to ssist those who have suffered some lose to fast track resettling them and I expect the other faction to make same commitment.
“Constitutionally, nobody has the right to displace anybody and that is why I said I am not in support of it anywhere and I made it clear that my clients must not get involved in it.”
In their remarks, Emami and Tonwe, who spoke for their respective factions, agreed to the military intervention to enforce peace.