…As 300 soldiers, policemen move into warring communities
By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH— GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, warned warring Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities, Isoko South Local Government Area of the state to desist from further hostilities, saying that the state government will not hesitate to deal decisively with those fomenting trouble in the communities.
This came as over 300 soldiers and mobile policemen have been dispatched to the communities which has been embroiled in a protracted land dispute.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, condemned the killings and wanton destruction of properties in the communities, expressing regret at the displacement of families and businesses from the areas.
He urged the people of the communities to remain calm while investigation is in progress, reiterating that resorting to acts of violence as a means of seeking redress by any group of people would not be condoned by the state government.
Speaking when he led security operatives to the communities in company of the President General of Isoko Development Union, IDU, Chief Iduh Amadhe, Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area, Mr Ithiako Ikpokpo, blamed the crisis on leadership failure on the part of both communities.
Saying that the soldiers and police officers were drafted to the communities on the directives of Okowa, Ikpokpo said that the governor had instructed that security operatives remain in the communities for as long as it takes for normalcy to return to the areas.
He said: “There will be continuous patrol and while we are discussing peace and the way forward, it is important that the people feel protected.
“If a matter is going on and government has stepped in, recommendations have been made and both communities have agreed to sit down and continue dialogue which they have been doing in the last few months, then there is no justification for fresh attacks.”
On his part, President General of IDU, Chief Amadhe, expressed sadness over the development, saying that the entire Isoko nation will take a decision on the matter and support government in taking steps to restore peace to the communities.