Protesting Youths in Isoko, Delta State
The Niger Delta community of Uzere, Isoko South local government area of Delta state is finally embracing peace after weeks of the protracted crisis resulting from the N20-million oil largesse meant for youths skill acquisition.
The path to the peace process is believed to have been initiated by a former Chief of Defence Staff Alexander Ogomudia and the peace meeting was also hosted in his house to underscore the prominent role he played in bringing the warring parties together.
The peace meeting is reported to have started on Tuesday, at the Uzere country home of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alexander Ogomudia, with the President General of Isoko Development Union, Iduh Amadhe, the Managing Director of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Askia Ogieh, Sam Ogrih, and other leaders of the community in attendance.
It was also reliably gathered that the chairman of Isoko South local government, Itiako Ikpokpo, led some prominent leaders of Isoko South, including Dennis Etaluku, Archbishop of the Oleh Diocese, Aruakpo, Odiologbo of Owhe kingdom, the secretary to the council, Dennis Obrogo, to the meeting which lasted several hours.
Apart from the issue of the N20 million gift purported to have been hijacked by a few youth leaders which trigger the crisis, the meeting also discussed the former king, Odogri I, who is in exile, oil money running into several millions of naira coming to the community that is always causing crisis, the so-called armed freedom fighters terrorizing the community and being used by some powerful personalities in the community.
“Though the peace meeting could not be concluded, it was adjourned until a later day where they will reconvene. But all the issues were well deliberated on.
The stakeholders in the community were full of praise for the effort of the council boss, Chief Ikpokpo, Chief Etaluku, The Archbishop of the Oleh Diocese, Aruakpo, Odiologbo of
Owhe kingdom and all those working round the clock to bring lasting peace in our community.
Giving credence for the meeting, an Isoko South leader, Dennis Etaluku, member of the newly inaugurated Delta State Advisory and Peace-building Council, who was also part of the meeting, said, “Yes, there was a peace meeting held at the instance of the former chief of defence staff, Alexander Ogomudia. What we did was a step-by-step approach.
“We have been able to reconcile all the leaders of the Uzere community with the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alexander Ogomudia. The Uzere leaders have now accepted Ogomudia as their father, leader, and boss. And Ogomudia has forgiven all of them. Though we have first reconciled the leaders (with one another), our next move is to treat all the other issues and reconcile the entire community.”
Etaluku added, “We have discovered that all the boys branding themselves ‘freedom fighters’ in the community had at one time or the other worked with all the leaders. Today, they are with you; tomorrow they are with the other person. We have scheduled a meeting with the boys. We have gone a long way into the issues and we will continue the
the peace process.”