Okowa reads riot act to warring communities
•Pledges support for anti-oil theft fight
•Seeks cooperation to tackle security issues in Niger Delta
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has cautioned the warring communities of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh in Udu and Warri South West local councils of Delta State, threatening to hold the leaders of both communities responsible in the event of fresh outbreak of hostilities.
A furious Okowa warned the leaders yesterday in Asaba that government would wield the big stick if the counsel were not heeded.
During an extended Security Council meeting, the governor revealed that security agencies had been directed to arrest women and youth leaders should another round of crisis erupt.
He said his administration was fast becoming weary of the bloodletting in parts of the communities.
“We have been doing a lot to stop the crisis but it appears these our brothers are not ready for peace and are ready to drag us into an ethnic war which will not help anybody. We cannot close our eyes to the inherent danger in their actions,” Okowa said.
Meanwhile, the governor has assured security agencies of his support in tackling criminality and pipeline vandalism.
He made the pledge while receiving the Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Opoche Suleiman, in Asaba.
The naval chief had said he was at the State House to confer with the governor and seek his support to enable the military task force achieve its mandate in the state.
Also yesterday, Okowa charged stakeholders in the Niger Delta to cooperate in tackling the security issues besetting the oil-rich region.
The governor, who made the appeal when the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Kasimu Abdulkarim and his team visited him in Asaba, said the charge has become imperative to improve peace and security in the region.
“I am glad that a new division has been established to take care of the security issues in the region and that a new brigade will be established in Asaba, Delta State.
This will help improve security in the state,” he said.
Abdulkarim said they were in the state to brief the governor on the establishment of the new military formation and the subsequent one in the state capital.