The Oghara Traditional Council led by His Royal Majesty, Noble Eshemitan Orefe lll. Ovie of Oghara Kingdom, has called on the attention of the Delta State Government for appropriate action over the Illegal and unlawful handing over of vast expanse of land belonging to Oghara, at Otegbo (which the Itsekiri call Obitugbo) village to the Nigerian Army by his Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse lll. The Olu of Warri.
The Oghara Monarch and Chief’s of the Oghara kingdom also demanded an immediate cessation of the actions and activities of the encroachments in whatever guise or coloration.
The traditional rulers and leaders of Oghara kingdom made the call and demand in a letter to the state government, press statement giving to neesmen during a protest by the traditional council of Oghara Kingdom at on Tuesday March 5, 2022 at Otegbo. Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to the letter, “RE: The Illegal and unlawful handing over of vast expanse of land belonging to Oghara, at Otegbo (which the Itsekiri call Obitugbo) village to the Nigeria army by his Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse lll The Olu of Warri.”
“We refer to the above subject and our numerous letters and submissions regarding the ownership of lands located at Ajagbodudu and Otegbo (which the Itsekiris call Obitugbo) villages between the Urhobos of Oghara Kingdom in Ethiope West Local Government Area and the Itsekiris in Warri North Local Government Area, both of Delta State, variously dated.”
“Further to the above, may we urgently call your attention, for appropriate action, to the following as regards the above-captioned subject: Your Excellency and indeed the government of Delta State and other institutions of government both at the State and Federal levels are fully aware and seized of the fact of the issues relating to the ownership of the said lands between the Urhobos of Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area and the Itsekiris of Warri North Local Government Area, both of Delta State.”
“We had earlier in one of our numerous letters referred to above, disclosed of the plan by the Itsekiris of Warri North Local Government Area, to establish a private University in the Oghara land territory of Otegbo. It was our unequivocal demand then, that all constructions and activities being carried out by the Itsekiris, particularly by one Mr. Godwin Ebosa, on any portion of the Oghara land territory of Otegbo be frozen in the interim, pending the findings and resolution by the Delta state boundary committee on the matter.”
“It is on record that after the presentations made by Oghara to the Delta State Boundary Committee awaiting the Itsekiris to do same, the Itsekiris, in desperate pursuit of their expansionist tendencies, brazenly went ahead with their plans to purportedly site the proposed private University which they called the WARRI UNIVERSITY on the Oghara land territory of Otegbo as we had earlier alerted. notwithstanding the unconcluded investigations being conducted by the Delta State Boundary Committee, as directed by the Office of the Vice President.”
“Just about a week ago, our people were alarmed to hear over the electronic and print media, that His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwase ill, the Olu of Warri Kingdom, had offered and ceded a large expanse of Oghara land situated at Otegbo village to the Nigerian Army for the construction of a military barrack, in utter disregard for the unresolved dispute between the Urhobos and Itsekiris over the ownership of the lands at Ajagbodudu and Otegbo for which there is a subsisting judgment in favour of the people of Oghara Kingdom. The above scenarios clearly reveal the deliberate and consistent plot of the Itsekiris to illegally claim and occupy our Otegbo land.”
“We have for a very long period prevailed on our people to eschew violence and tow the path of peace and legality unlike as has been witnessed in parts of Delta State where similar disputes are ongoing. However, with the current happenings, our people are now being pushed to the brink and it appears the Delta State Government is waiting for a conflagration and bloodshed for it to seriously address this volatile and burning issue.”
“Let us state for the umpteenth time, that the people of Oghara shall not accept under any guise, the annexation of an inch of her territory as being orchestrated by the Itsekiris through this brazen action of their monarch because our people are seriously provoked and agitated by this reckless act of the Itsekiris which could escalate the already tense situation into unimaginable proportion. Thus, we strongly urge that the Itsekiris be called to order immediately in order to forestall a possible break down of law and order which we have avoided all these while and guarantee the peace of the area.”
“We demand an immediate cessation of the actions and activities of these encroachments in whatever guise or coloration.”
“Although we are at a loss as to the lethargy and unconcerned disposition of the Delta State Government to frontally address the issues once and for all, we express our confidence with reticence, that this prolonged matter will be given the urgent attention it rightly deserves.”
“While we anticipate this time, a prompt response from your Excellency and the Government of Delta State, please accept the assurances of our utmost regards. Thank you.”
The traditional council of Oghara Kingdom in the letter, also copied. The Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja. The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Army, Koko. Office of the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja. Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, Abuja 5. Inspector-General of Police, Abuja. Director-General, State Security Service, Abuja 7. Zone 5, Police Command, Benin-City, Edo State. Delta State Commissioner of Police, Asaba, Delta State. 9. Delta State House of Assembly, Asaba, Delta State. Hon. Reheated Ibori-Suen, Asaba. Hon. Ben Roland Igbakpa, Abuja 12. The Deputy Senate President. Abuja
Responding, one of the chiefs at the Olu of Warri palace, Chief Brown Mene said that the Oghara people were only making a “spurious claim”