The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sarhman, has urged warring Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja communities to stop the bloodshed over perennial land dispute.
He made the appeal at the weekend when he toured the areas located in Warri-South West and Udu local councils in Delta State.
Sarhman disclosed that the reason fro the visit was to solicit peace in the area and inform the people about the deployment of troops of ‘Operation Crocodile Smile 3.’
The GOC urged them to end the dispute and work for peace so that the place could be developed.
He stressed that the method of the Nigerian Army is to keep the peace by fishing out criminal elements that work against peace in the communities.
He said: “The whole purpose of the operation is to keep the peace and engender development. Soldiers will be on land and in the creeks to ensure that the lives and properties of Nigerians are safe, and also deal with criminals in line with the extant laws of the constitution.
“We can only achieve the aim of the operation with the support of the leaders of the kingdoms, youths, women and the cooperation of the general community.”
At the palace of Ovie of Udu Kingdom, His Majesty, Bethel Delekpe in Aladja, the GOC denied that soldiers killed some persons during the recent communal crisis involving both communities.
He explained that the army was for peace, adding that he had ordered investigation into the incident and found that no soldier fired a single shot, let alone killing people.
He advised journalists to do proper investigation before reporting sensitive issues, as such was fueling the crisis.
While urging the youths to eschew violence, he said, but for the intervention of the military, the clash could have escalated.
He said soldiers were not only deployed in the area, they also established camps in the boundary between the two communities.
The Ovie of Udu told the GOC that he was happy that the army was in the community to maintain peace and order, especially as the people were also peace loving.