Warring Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities in Udu and Warri South-West local government areas of Delta State appear sheathing their age-long killer-swords with a peace concert held to foster lasting peace.
The Urhobo and Ijaw neighbours showed signs of reconciliation last weekend as natives from the communities jointly embarked on a peaceful concert at the disputed land border.
Dispute over the piece of land has, in over a decade, claimed several lives and property from both communities with successive governments in the state unable to abate the perpetual bloodbaths in spite of monies sunk into unimplemented blueprints from several peace committees instituted.
The peaceful concert, which was organized by youths from both communities under the aegis of Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh Peace Vanguard, had ace Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe Damijo, Hush Babe and Harry Song in attendance.
The concert, which was tagged, ‘We are one’ began with a motorcade rally from NPA Waterside in Warri through Enerhen, Udu, Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities before terminating at the disputed border land.
Convener of the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh Peace Concert, Reverend Enienghan Thompson Layefa, blamed some misguided youths for the perennial land crisis, urging the people of both communities to believe and sustain the peace they had achieved.
“Let preach peace. Let’s stand for peace. Let’s love one another. There is no gain in crisis. With crisis, development will be far from our land. We need roads. We need lights and others. We need to build houses to the two communities,” he pleaded.
Chairmen of Udu and Warri South-West localgovernment areas, Mr Kite Brown and Mr Taye Duke Tuoyo, who lauded the state government’s efforts towards seeing to the end of the rift, urged the people, especially the youths, women and elders of the two communities to sustain the peace so far attained.
A representative of the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Traditional Council, Chief A. O. Jolomi, thanked the elders for embracing the peace talks with their Aladja brothers, just as a leader in Aladja community, Chief C.C. Williki, appreciated God for restoring peace to the two communities.
The National Coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Chief Sheriff Mulade and former Commissioner for Environment in Delta State, Chief Frank Omare begged rumour mongers to stop destroying their fatherland.
Omare urged the warring cultists to leave Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities, saying “We don’t want to see you here. Do your cultism outside our land.”
Nollywood act and former Delta Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Richard Damijo, who was flanked by Harry Song and Hush Babe, promised to groom young talents from both communities.
Earlier in a sermon, Reverend Emmanuel Aleyabor of the Church of God Mission in Ogbe-Ijoh, urged the people to embrace peace, without which he noted, meaningful developments would continue to elude the two communities.
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