By Atevure Princess,
The people of Ugborodo Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the alleged plans by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to deploy military personnel into their Community.
In an open letter to the President, the people while calling for caution over the planned deployment of troops to the area stated that;” this is a consciously ill advised and bad decision by the Delta State Government led by Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State and his Deputy, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro.”
The letter to the President was signed by Pa Douglas Omagbemi (Ugborodo Community), Pa Pasco Oritsegbami (Elder, Ugborodo community) and Hon Thomas Metseagharun (The Toritsemogha of Ugborodo Community), tasked Mr President to prevail on the governor to drop the idea because it’s ill timed.
“It has come to our knowledge that there are plans currently ongoing to send military personnel to a hitherto peaceful Ugborodo community. With due respect and recourse to the rule of law and respect for properly constituted authority, this is a consciously ill advised and bad decision by the Delta State Government led by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State and his deputy, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro”, they wrote.
According to them;”We wish to restate our stand that Ugborodo is not a part of the Warri/Itsekiri kingdom and that this should not be misconstrued as fomenting trouble but rather, putting the record straight and being on the right side of truth on this issue which we have consistently stated. We have usually and continue to live peacefully with our neighbours (The Gbaramatu Kingdom) And all we ask is to be left alone to continue living in peace”.
They also wrote;”We write to you because as commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, we are constrained and led to believe that any such wholesale movement of military personnel is within your purview and as such, we would advise restraint and a stand down order, as this single action is capable of jeopardizing the current fragile peace that we enjoy in Ugborodo and possibly disturb the peaceful operation of the oil companies currently operating within the locality”.
“Mr President, we want you to know that there is an existing Police Station in Mandagho. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) lives in Chevron Tank Farm, a stone thrown through from Atunton and we are therefore baffled why the Delta State Government led by Governor Okowa is planning to send other security personnel to our area if there is no hidden agenda. This move must be stopped by the President”, they further wrote.
While reminding the President of the unfortunate Warri crisis, they posited that;”We would also like to draw the attention of the President to the events that followed the relocation of the Warri South West local government Area headquarters from Ogbe-Ijoh to Ogidigben which caused years of conflict and caused the loss of lives and properties including but not limited to the oil companies operating in the area as well as numerous and unclear number of citizens. Those who refused to learn from history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes”.
A government that is supposed to protect lives and properties of the citizenry, they said;” Should not be seen to be taking sides with an oppressive and divisive group that does not reside in our communities to cause disharmony among the law abiding people of Ugborodo”.
“Instead of sending security agents to cause crisis in Ugborodo and its environs, it would seem that such efforts would be better geared towards retrieving monies given to these same divisive elements as contracts for the development of our communities, which they have blatantly not carried out”, they said.
The people used medium to call on the Government, “To retrieve said funds meant for our development which have been sadly redirected and diverted to private individuals and pockets”.
They also wrote that;”Furthermore, we ask the President to caution the Dr Ifeanyi Okowa led government of Delta State to stop fanning the embers of conflict which have laid untouched and led to a general level of peace in not just Ugborodo but its environs. The Governor and his Deputy should be stopped from taking sides and possibly starting a general level of lawlessness and violence that could be averted by simply allowing the people of Ugborodo to continue to live in peace with their neighbours”,