13 February 2014, Warri – The Federal Government’s mediation team on the leadership crisis in Ugborodo, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, has shifted final resolution on the crisis to Monday next week.
The extended time declared in Abuja at a meeting of the mediators and parties last Monday is to allow the Alex Ideh/David Tonwe-led faction come up with its 10-man list to make up the new Ugborodo Interface Committee on the Federal Government’s Export Processing Zone, EPZ, sited in Ogidigben.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, has described the crisis in Ugborodo community as a bad chapter in the history of the Niger Delta.
IMG, in a statement by Mr Joseph Evah, pleaded with President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and Niger Delta woman leader, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, to intervene in the crisis as neutral leaders of thought from Itsekiri land, adding that the outstanding qualities of the two elders made them global citizens.
“We plead with Pastor Oritsejafor and Chief Lori-Ogbebor to lead the peace effort by applying godly and traditional wisdom to make the warring brothers and sisters to reason that the hatred, if allowed to grow, will, God forbid, consume the present and future generations of Itsekiris,” the IMG said.
A source at the Monday meeting, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that the last meeting was meant to resolve all the issues. He, however, noted that the Ideh/Tonwe faction came unprepared as it failed to submit its 10-man list for the EPZ committee.
Another source, said: “You know, before last Monday’s meeting, the Ideh/Tonwe faction declared that it would be represented by its legal counsel, instead of making a personal appearance. They had earlier also rejected the Delta State Government appointed Chairman for the new EPZ committee.
“So, it was no surprise that they were not prepared when they later appeared in person. The Thomas Eriyitomi’s faction is conforming to the standing order and their list has been ready weeks before the meeting. It is up to Ideh and his team to submit their list not later than next Monday because the intervention committee will reach a final resolution binding on all parties that day.”
It was also gathered that both factions, as well as the intervention team led by Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Oyibe Jubrin, who were both represented, were not satisfied with the Secretary to Delta State Government, Mr. Ovuozorie Macauley Peace Committee’s report to the Abuja gathering.
A source said: “Macauley’s report was so watery; both factions and all the mediators were unimpressed. The report was supposed to be a basis for progress on the matter, but Macaulay presented mere minutes of meeting without making a single recommendation, forcing stakeholders to start all over. That dragged the meeting for several hours.”