The Urhobo Renaissance Society (URS) has raised the alarm over “ongoing unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on the Urhobo people of Aladja in Udu Local Government Area by armed Ijaw youths of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West Local Government Area in Delta State.”
The URS stated this via a media statement issued by its President, Professor Hope Eghagha and Secretary, Dr. John Uwa.
The statement reads: “The Urhobo Renaissance Society (URS) which is a congregation of Urhobo sons and daughters across the globe has noticed with consternation the ongoing unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on the Urhobo people of Aladja in Udu Local Government Area by armed Ijaw youths of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West Local Government Area in Delta State. The present attacks that have led to avoidable loss of properties and lives were as usual orchestrated by the tendency of the Ogbe-Ijoh people to lay claims to a land that rightly belongs to the Aladja people.
“It is needless to say that the Urhobo count among the most hospitable people in today’s world and, have, in their long history accommodated people from other ethnic nationalities, the Ijaws inclusive. Part of the narrative of the Urhobo tendency to accommodate other people enabled them to accommodate the Ijaws in parts of Aladja. Sadly, the Urhobo character of being her neighbour’s keeper has become a tool with which the Ogbe-Ijoh people use to fight them.
“Previous skirmishes and their resolutions point to the truth that the Ogbe-Ijoh people have neither land nor any heritage in Aladja. The narrative has been constant that the Urhobo spirit of accommodation and hospitality made the Ogbe-Ijoh people feel at home with their hosts for many years now. Arising from this is intermarriage, linguistic bond, friendship, trade and other indices of socialization which the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh people have had to share in common. They have come to live as one until mischief makers in recent times invoked the spirit of division and feud among the people.
“We hereby call on both the State and the Federal Governments to decisively step into the fracas and bring it to an end. The relevant security agencies must show professionalism as they intervene to put an end to this unnecessary feud.
“Right now, we are constrained to raise alarm that the officers and men of the Nigerian Army led by Major Solomon Nwakuda deployed to the conflict zone have been less than professional as they not only look the other way while Ogbe-Ijoh launches attacks on Aladja, but also take sides in subjugating the Aladja people. A more worrisome dimension has been the recruitment of herdsmen by the Ogbe-Ijoh people while the Army plays the ostrich. These acts must stop now.”