By Ovie Okpare
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Wednesday met with members of the Evwreni Crises Resolution and Peace Committee led by Olorogun O’tega Emerhor as part of efforts aimed at bringing peace to Evwreni Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
Olorogun Emerhor, who spoke at the meeting, appealed to Governor Okowa to set up judicial panel to look into remote causes of the crisis which has led to the killing of at least three persons in the area.
He lamented that some persons within the kingdom who are aggrieved over the destruction of their property running into several millions of naira had refused to embrace peace efforts by the committee.
Emerhor, a founding leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Okowa’s major challenger in the 2015 governorship in the state, said members of his committee decided to visit him to seek his intervention and intimate him ongoing efforts to resolve the crisis.
He informed the governor that the collapse of his committee could result to renewed hostility in the kingdom as aggrieved persons are hesitant to embrace the committee’s peace efforts.
The former APC governorship candidate who presented a copy of the committee’s letter jointly signed by him and five others including the committee’s secretary, Chief Emuobosa Victor Ohare, Elder Victor Mowoe and Chief Rufus Ebegba, urged Governor Okowa to step into the crisis.
“This committee seeing the calamity that will follow the collapse of the peace process by way of further loss of lives and properties and a complete breakdown of law and order in Evwreni community has decided, as our last hope, to appeal to you for your urgent: and decisive intervention as follows:
“That, you graciously appoint a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the crisis. To ascertain the role played by various individuals and apportion blames where necessary.
“To look into the role of the community Vigilante in the crisis, their involvement in the killings and destructions, if any, to bring the guilty to book and to determine their dissolution as may be required.
“To look into the role played generally by youths and other armed groups in the killing and destructions in the community with a view of bringing them to book. To determine and identify possible sponsors of the violence either through the Vigilantes or the other armed groups with a view to bringing such sponsors to book.
“To look at the merit of the various claims to the stool of the Ovie of Evereni and resolve the agitations thereto. To look into and resolve any other issue(s) that will bring lasting peace to Evwreni kingdom”, Emerhor requested the governor.
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Responding, Governor Okowa acceded to the request of the committee seeking the setting up of judicial panel of inquiry to look into the crisis.
Okowa, while thanking the Emerhor-led committee for their efforts, expressed worries over the continued crisis in Evwreni.
He assured his visitors that his administration would do all that is necessary to restore peace to Evwreni Kingdom.