25 March 2014, Warri – For the first time since hostilities broke out in January, warring factions in the crisis-torn Ugborodo community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, have met without third party observers at a unity gathering, indicating that peace may soon return to the volatile community.
The unity meeting, held Sunday, in Warri, was between the community’s factional elders and 11 key actors critical to resolve the crisis as determined at the last Nigerian Navy/ Police moderated peace meeting with resolutions signed by the security authorities and factional leaders at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, on March 20.Parties at the last Abuja peace meeting resolved to “maintain peace in the community, while anybody seen with arms will face the wrath of the law.
They also resolved that displaced persons must freely return to their communities and not disrupt ongoing work at the NNPC/EPZ Gas City project sited in Ogidigben, one of the five Ugborodo communities.
The Warri unity meeting was shut to newsmen, but a participant at the meeting told Vanguard that those in attendance, including Eghare-Aja (Elders Council Chairman) of Ugborodo, Eghare Wellington Ojogor, Registered Trustee, Pa Edwin Tsebi and Olaja-Orori (Spiritual Leader) of Ugborodo, Benson Omadeli, had the opportunity of meeting with Thomas Ereyitomi, their arch rival in the past three months.
A source said: “Resolving the crisis is almost a done deal. I am not disposed to give details, but I can assure you that before the end of March or latest first week of April, a new, united Ugborodo would be born. Parties have committed to constituting the new EPZ committee, which has been the nagging issue.
Three months ago, the leaders and elders who wined and dined together yesterday could not see eye to eye, but this is just the beginning of a united Ugborodo.
These unity meetings will become a regular affair. In a matter days, the elders and key actors in continuation of the fence mending will meet with the foot soldiers and prevail on the youths to also sheathe their swords and live in peace.