APC in Delta on Thursday in Asaba charged Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa to address rising incidences of inter-communal crises.
The party gave the charge in a statement issued by its Caretaker Committee Publicity Secretary, Mr Sylvester Imonina.
It said the state government should be proactive in handling peace-threatening issues.
“Delta APC challenges the Okowa-led government to up its game in averting inter-communal crises or any form of crisis in the state.
“People on the wrong side of the law should be taught a lesson they will never forget, irrespective of whose ox is gored.
“Lives and properties should not be wasted on the altar of political and or any form of affiliations,” the statement read.
“There is a popular saying that: ‘threat to peace anywhere is threat to peace everywhere.’
“It is on the above premise that the APC in Delta condemns in totality the rise in inter-communal crises in the state,” it added.
It also stated that “some days ago, there was communal clash between Ogwashi-Uku and Otulu communities in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State.
“This resulted in the unfortunate killing of one indigene of Otulu.
“Also, not too long ago, there was a bloody crisis between Emede and Igbide communities in Isoko South Local Government Area which resulted in the loss of lives and property worth millions of Naira.”
The APC stressed that the sad memories of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw communities’ crisis of not too long ago lingered on.
“Till date, the number of lives lost in those crises is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, so many people whose landed properties were destroyed are still eating the bread of sorrow.
“From available information, most of these crises are not unconnected with unclear land boundaries between neighbouring communities,” the party stated and noted that some of the crises were avoidable but for the lackadaisical attitude of the state government.
“Delta APC is not unaware of the fact that there is no community in the state where the Okowa-led government does not have a political office holder.
“These appointees who are supposed to be peace builders and act as bridges between their people and the state government care less about issues that threaten peace.
“Some of them are known merchants of war whose stock in trade is fanning embers of discord,” it stated.
Reacting to the charge, Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Okowa, said APC should not be playing politics with an issue as sensitive as security.
He said that contrary to APC’s position, the Delta government had ensured that communal clashes had been kept to the minimum in the state.
He said that in order to ensure that it lived up to its responsibilities, the Delta government established the “Operation Delta Hawk” its own security outfit that complements efforts of Federal Government’s security agencies.
Ifeajika said most of the communal clashes referred to by APC were borne out of economic factors as people usually had misunderstandings on land issues and the siting of fishing ponds since the state is largely a coastal location.
The clashes, he stressed, were not instigated by the state government but came up because each community wanted the best of its natural endowments.
He added that government appointees like commissioners and other aides came from the communities and they must continue to talk to their people on the need for peaceful co-existence.
Ifeajika said the Delta government set up a commission of inquiry into communal clashes in Isoko South Local Government Area mentioned by the APC and the step saw to an amicable settlement of the crisis there.
He admonished local communities to nip crises in the bud and not allow them to escalate to the level of loss of lives and property.