Delta Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday, advised citizens and communities to eschew hostilities, especially ones associated with land ownership, saying no amount of land was worth the blood of any Deltan.
Okowa gave the advice in Asaba while receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the Boundary Dispute between Ozoro and Oleh communities in Isoko North and Isoko South Local Government Areas.
According to him, there is no amount of land that should actually lead to the death of any person whether the person is from Oleh, Ozoro or any other part of the state.
The governor assured that the commission’s report would be processed with a view to raising a White Paper that would permanently resolve the boundary dispute between both feuding communities.
“We will process both the findings and recommendations through the normal processes that it has to go through and we will be able to come out with a white paper as quickly as possible.
“We want to assure you of that because the only way we can truly say `thank you’ is to ensure that the work you have brought forth and spent your time to be able to present the report today translates to peace among our people of Ozoro and Oleh communities,” he said.
He commended chairman and members of the judicial commission for turning in their report on time, and expressed hope that the findings and recommendations of the commission would help significantly in engendering peaceful co-existence in the two communities.
Okowa also expressed appreciation to the communities for presenting themselves before the commission and reassured them that his administration would take decisions that would positively be impactful on both communities.
He called on warring communities across the state to sheath their swords to pave way for sustainable development, emphasising that there was a lot that would be collectively achieved under an atmosphere of peace.
He acknowledged that there were many boundary disputes in parts of the state and country, but stated that “by the grace of God, we have continued to tackle issues concerning boundaries with a lot of tact and a lot of appeal.
“We do this by ensuring that we follow through with the processing integrity to ensure that we are able to resolve as many boundary disputes as possible.
“I must truly thank Deltans generally for supporting us as a government in partnership to achieve this. Only recently, we looked into the Okpe-Urhobo Forest Reserve crisis and today we are getting the report of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the boundary dispute between Ozoro and Oleh.
“I am glad that Deltans have begun to realise that under an atmosphere of peace, there is a lot that we can collectively enjoy; there is a lot that we can collectively achieve as a state, as a government and as a people,” Okowa said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry, Justice Marcel Okoh, had while submitting the report, said that memoranda were received from parties involved in the dispute during the public hearings of the Commission.
Okoh disclosed that during the proceedings, the two communities expressed readiness to allow peace to reign, and expressed hope that the recommendations of the commission would help the state government to entrench sustainable peace and unity among Ozoro and Oleh people.
He thanked the governor for finding him and members of the Commission worthy to serve, pointing out that the assignment afforded them a unique opportunity to ascertain the possible causes and solutions to the communal crisis between the two communities