By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
ASABA-AFTER seven years of litigations, the people of Trofani in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and Ikpide-Irri and Onyah in Isoko South and Ndokwa East Local Government Areas respectively, of Delta State have settled their land dispute through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism.
The resurgence of hostilities arising from land disputes between Onyah/Ikpide-Irri on the one hand and Trofani/Ikpide-Irri on the other, was triggered by the discovery of oil well between the boundaries of Ikpide-Irri and Canaan-Irri, and the construction of a five kilometre road awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
In separate meetings held in Asaba with the representatives of the three communities, which was facilitated by the Delta State and Bayelsa State Conflict Management Alliance as an intervention process to find a lasting solution to the aged-long disputes, their representatives admitted that mediation was a better alternative as several efforts in time past failed to yield the desired results in fostering peace among the feuding communities.
Leaders of the peace delegations from the communities, Mr. Michael Omojefe ( President General, Ikpide-Irri), Chief Bennard Onyenokwe ( Onyah ) and Abel Akemi ( Prime Minister, Trofani) acknowledged that the dispute has impacted negatively on the economic and social lives of the people.
They promised to cooperate and synergies to explore all possible avenues to restore peace in the affected communities, stressing that without peace no meaningful development could thrive.
The joint team leader of Delta state Conflict Management Alliance and Bayelsa State Conflict Management Alliance Mr. Ebruke Esike, said the Team waded into the disputes, following a complaints of one of the aggrieved communities in order to prevent it from degenerating into violence.
Esike who disclosed that the Delta Conflict Management Alliance is a multi-stakeholders platform supported by Stakeholders Democracy Network, explained that the outcome of the advocacy visits to the communities and their Local Government Areas culminated into the conduct of conflict learning and analysis, purposely to appreciate the dynamics, actors, historical trends and events of the communities.
He explained that the validation of the conflict learning and analysis was to ensure that community representatives make input to the report by affirming or rejecting information recorded before it goes public.