By Festus Ahon
ASABA—Delta State House of Assembly has called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to direct the state Commissioner of Police to deploy more officers and men to Amai and Ezhiokpor communities in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state to curtail a raging land dispute between both communities.
The House, in a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by the member representing Ukwuani Constituency, Mr. Alphonsus Ojo, also urged the governor to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the dispute.
Opening debate on the motion, Ojo said: “Amai and Ezhiokporwo communities have lived together in harmony for many years as brothers without any fracas until the land dispute which has dismantled the long lasting peace. In 2009 the dispute degenerated to a crisis that led to loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira.”
He said the government was involved in 2009 and a committee led by former Deputy Governor, Chief Benjamin Elue, was set up, adding that the land in question has appreciated in value but the dispute has made it inaccessible hence a loss to the state economy.
Citing Section 14 subsection 2(b) of the 1999 constitution, Ojo stated that if peace and security is not attained in these communities, the SMART Agenda would be failing already. “I therefore say that the crisis should be seen as state crisis not a crisis between Amai and Ezhiokpor”.
Ojo stated that if the issue was not looked into the crisis would lead to more loss of lives and property.
In his contribution, the member representing Warri South II, Chief Denis Omovie said the recurring crisis in that part of Delta State should be a serious cause for concern, recalling that a lecturer at the Delta State University was lost to the crisis sometime past.
Also, the member representing Ughelli South, Rueben Izeze, also called for urgent noting that he was opportune to be part of the entourage that sought peace for the communities in 2009, recounting the gory tale of seeing corpses with missing hearts.