Parties in the Obodogba Land dispute in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area of the State have agreed to comply with an earlier Court ruling that ordered for the composition of an Audit Committee to audit the entire Obodogba Community Land under contention as a pathway for the final resolution of the impasse.
The resolution to comply with the Court ordered was announced by the parties involved in the dispute at a mediation meeting held at the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice who was assigned with the responsibility to mediate and amicably resolve all the contending issues and restore peace back to the area.
Barr. Peter Mrakpor while addressing a cross section of parties involved in the land allocation impasse, attended by His Royal Majesty, Michael Ogbolu, the Ugo-Ani of Okpanam, the representatives of all the Diopkas in the village and Obodogba sons in diasporas particularly those in Lagos, Asaba, Onitsha and Benin who instituted legal proceedings in court seeking for the enforcement of their rights to allocation of land, told the disputant to obey the Court order that ruled in favour for the audit of the entire Obodogba Community land with boundaries with Ibusa, Oghwashi-Uku and Issele-Azagba hectares as a panacea for peace.
He assured that the Delta State Government on its part will not relent in ensuring that the matter was amicably resolved and peace restored back to the area. The Attorney-General charged both parties who later expressed their readiness to cooperate and work together towards the amicable settlement of the lingering dispute that has resulted in unending court litigations and violence, to focus on how to successfully carry out the audit exercise.
Speaking further, the Justice Commissioner urged them to ensure they obtain the survey plan of the area and set a time line for the conclusion of the exercise. He quarried why contractors engaged to demarcate the vast area of land have not been paid. He also urged them to address all genuine grievances and alleged injustice meted on some persons by not allocating them lands even after fulfilling all requirements including payments of the prescribed levies.
In order for the land audit to succeed and achieve its purpose, the Justice Commissioner counselled the Okpanam monarch to engage all parties through an all-inclusive meeting by ensuring that an amicable solution without bitterness is laid on the table.
On his part, the Ugo-Ani of Okpanam, His Royal Majesty, Michael Ogbolu while thanking the State Attorney-General for the peace initiative and for the timely intervention of the State Government, gave an assurance to initiate another round of meetings to resolve the matter. He said as the Royal father of the area, he was duty bound to protect the interests of his subjects and ensure the security of lives and property in his domain.
While throwing his support for an audit to be carried out to verify the extent of land already allocated, the Okpanam monarch did not spare some of his subjects as he lampooned some elders for abdicating their responsibilities by allowing their children to be in the driving seat, a situation he described as dangerous and unhealthy.