Concerned indigenous people of Aladja (the Urhobo-speaking hosts of the Delta Steel Company and a terminus of the Warri-Itakpe high speed rail line) and Ogbe-Ijaw one of their immediate neighbors for decades have taken the bull by the horn and organized themselves into a group with the sole aim of achieving lasting peace in the areas.
The social media group to enlighten the public about the Aladja-Ogbe Ijaw Peace Vanguard already boasts of almost 2,000 members in less than one week. While introducing the group, Enienghan Thompson Layefa described the group membership as “primarily for indigenes of Aladja Ogbe Ijaw.”Layefa continues “But we decided to invite others to help in the peace drive.
Their suggestions and contributions will go a long was to help heal the wounds caused by the war”Bezi Ejowvo Ighotegwolo, one of the administrators of Aladja-Ogbe Ijaw Peace Vanguard wrote:”In the pursuit of the peace process the admins met and came out with the following for the house to deliberate on.
1). The need for peace between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh can not be over emphasized. All hands must be on deck to ensure that peace return to the both Communities in the shortest possible time.
2). Billboards calling for peace by this group will be placed at strategic places in Express Junction,Ovwian; Ogbe-Ijoh waterside,Warri; Main Market,Warri; Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh towns be erected.
3). Hand bills and posters promoting peace courtesy of this family be produced and distributed and posted at strategic places in Aladja, Ogbe-Ijoh and Warri and Udu.
4). A call for peace by this family to the government to be published in newspapers.
5). That any one who is moved to help finance these projects, otherwise the admins and moderators to bear the cost of all these.
6). Other members to suggest,in addition,any other means to achieve the peace we are preaching.”With the deliberations observed so far, the group seems very poised to assist the communities in achieving long lasting peace within the shortest possible time.
The group members are already suggesting the way forward with ideas like a joint peace rally in Warri and the conveners have planned for giant billboards promoting peace with faces of prominent people of the two communities adorning the banners.The boundary crises between Ogbe-Ijoh, Aladja have, according to the state government, hampered the infrastructural development plans of the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration forthe communities.
The Aladja-Ogbe Ijaw Peace Vanguard looks set to bring back the good old days of peaceful coexistence without rancor and mischief. With the Warri-Itakpe rail terminus in the area, economic activities are expected to be on the rise in the near future.
Only peaceful social interactions can sustain such developments.