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Land matters: Okowa charges feuding communities to embrace peace

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has charged communities embroiled in land disputes to sheath their swords and embrace peace to pave the way for sustainable development.

Okowa gave the advice on Tuesday in Asaba when the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the Boundary Dispute between Ozoro and Oleh communities submitted its report.

According to Okowa, there is no amount of land that should actually lead to the death of any person either from Oleh, Ozoro or any other part of the state.

He said that a lot would be collectively achieved under an atmosphere of peace.

He promised that the commission’s report would be studied with a view to raising a White Paper that would permanently resolve the boundary dispute.

“We will process both the findings and recommendations through the normal processes 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 today translates to peace among our people of Ozoro and Oleh communities,” Okowa said.

He commended the commission for completing its work in record time.

He also thanked the communities for presenting themselves before the commission.

He assured them that his administration would continue to take decisions that would positively impact on both communities.

The governor admitted the existence of many boundary disputes in parts of the state.

He, however, expressed delight that his administration “has continued to tackle the issues with a lot of tact and 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 people of the state 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 commission into the boundary dispute between Ozoro and Oleh.

“I am glad that the people 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, government and people,” Okowa said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the commission, Justice Marcel Okoh, said that many memoranda were received from parties involved in the dispute during the commission’s public hearing.

Okoh said that during the proceedings, the two communities expressed readiness to allow peace to reign.

He also hoped that the commission’s recommendations would help the state government to entrench sustainable peace and unity between Ozoro and Oleh.

Ifeanyi Olannye

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