Urhobo Historical Society

Chief Benjamin Okumagba Gives Recipe for Resolving Warri Crises

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Thursday, February 28, 2002.

AN eight-point recommendation that will bring a lasting solution to the intermittent crises in the Warri metropolis, has been made by Chief Benjamin O. Okumagba.

 Okumagba, who is the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), made the recommendations to the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Riots, Crises and Conflicts, whose members visited Warri, Delta State recently.

 Okumagba, who made the presentation on behalf of Okere-Urhobo Kingdom, Warri traced the genesis of the crises in Warri which have claimed several lives and property to the quest by the traditional ruler of the Itsekiris and his subjects to extend their control over all parts of Warri.

 According to Okumagba, who is also the Otota of Okere-Urhobo, the Itsekiris have intensified their assault on the Okere-Urhobo Kingdom of Warri since the advent of democracy in May 1999 and on each occasion, the attacks had been "unprovoked, premeditated, bloody and barbaric" in execution.

 The UPU President-General alleged that several of the attacks by the Itsekiris were aided by some military personnel in the David Ejoor Army Barracks, Warri, adding that a helicopter belonging to an oil company was used to ferret combatants and drop explosives on Okere-Urhobo areas during one of the attacks.

 Okumagba said that for peace to reign in Warri, the Senate Committee should consider the following recommendations: