11th August, 2011
Ekpan community in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta has resorted to traditional rituals to end a leadership tussle among its youth.
The community administered traditional oaths on every member at the ancestral shrine and performed traditional rituals in the river.
The community closed down all activities because of the ceremony during which the people took the oath and pledged not to act in any manner that would hinder development or otherwise die.
After the oath taking and rituals, the people marched through the streets, dancing and singing.
The traditional rulerâ€™s representative on the occasion, Chief Ambrose Tadafe, said that he was happy with the step taken to reconcile the people but attributed restiveness among the youth to the lack of jobs and idleness.
He called on the state government to provide job opportunities for youths to check crises.
Also the leader of JTF, Sector 1, Col. Ewang Enang, whose men monitored the ceremony, commended the security agencies for their efforts in ensuring peace among the people.
Enang said that the Ekpan conflict resolution was borne out of the efforts of the security agencies.
The Ekpan community, which hosts many oil and gas companies, including Chevron Nigeria Limited, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), has been volatile for many years.
The crises, which occur mostly at night, have caused many deaths, leading to many people leaving the community and members of the JTF stationed in the area to check the recurrence of crisis.
The state government two years ago imposed an indefinite curfew on the community and subsequently, the people called for peace but after the curfew was lifted, the problem resurfaced.
The crisis degenerated such that each time members of the three villages met, a fight ensued.
The security agencies ordered the community leaders to enforce peace or face the consequences.
The state government also imposed another indefinite dusk to dawn curfew on the community in July because of the recurrence of the fights.