By Emma Amaize
WARRI—A militant group, Supreme Egbesu Council, has warned that it will start bombing oil facilities in Warri North, Warri South and South-West Local Government Areas, Delta State, should Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the state implement his proposed plan to share Ogbe-Ijoh land to Aladja community.
The group, in a statement by General Ebi and others, said: “If the Okowa- led Delta State Government goes ahead to share Ijaw land, which is in trust of the Ogbe-Ijoh people, we will use all that is within us to claim back that land because the Ogbe-Ijoh land forms part of the Ijaw Republic that we are working hard to achieve.
“Okowa’s decision to share Ijaw land in Ogbe-Ijoh will be greeted with Operation Red Economy in Warri South-West, Warri North and parts of Warri South councils. Governor Okowa must be reminded that similar oppressive actions of government as regards the political survival of the Ijaws of Warri led to the famous Warri crises,” the group said.
It urged the National Boundary Commission “to intervene and interpret the relevant boundary laws to avoid Operation Red Economy in the Niger Delta.”
Meanwhile, the group has directed all unit heads “to commence mapping of all oil facilities and blow same after Wednesday’s Security Council meeting if Okowa is bent on sharing Ijaw land to Aladja, instead of acquiring and holding the land in brief for government.”
The statement read: “The attention of Supreme Egbesu Council has been drawn to an attempt by Delta State Government to share over 1,236 hectares of land belonging to Ogbe-Ijoh with Aladja community getting 50 per cent of the land.
“This, to us, is an oppression to the Ogbe-Ijoh people because the land in question has been long legislated upon by the government of Nigeria in 1955 via Gazette No 176 of 1955, which places the boundary between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh somewhere around the round-about in Aladja community as identified by the Ekoko -led panel.
“At an enlarged Security Council meeting held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, attended by all Ijaw and Urhobo traditional rulers in Delta State, Delta State Advisory Council, head of security agencies, select top government functionaries and members of the Ekoko- ledpPanel on December 20, 2016, Prof. Ekoko briefed the governor and others of their findings where the disputed land between the two communities was discovered to be 289 hectares.
“Further claims by parties amount to 1,236 hectares of land. The governor after due consultations pronounced 289 hectares of land as the parcel of land government of Delta State intends to acquire.
“The failure of Delta State Government to stand by its pronouncements is responsible for the crisis between the communities in the last two years.”