The Delta State Government has accused the executive of Oviri-Ogor community in Ughelli North local government area led by Chief Monday Otobrise of creating undue tension in the community through its imposition of illegal levies (Deve’) on lanlords and residents of Edjeme Avenue and it’s environs.
The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor made the accusations during a peace meeting between the lanlords and residents of Edjeme Avenue and the leadership of the community in a move to forestall breakdown of law and order in the community.
The lanlords and residents had through a petition to the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa raised alarm over an imposition of a security levy of N1500 on them by the community executive, noting that such levy was against the states government edit that abolished ‘deve’ collection in the state.
However, the state government through a report by its fact finding committee headed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Edwin Uzor, revealed that, “the remote cause of the misunderstanding between the Landlords and residents of Edjeme Avenue and environs and the leadership of the community is the imposition of a security levy of the sum of N1500 by Chief Monday Otobrise and his executive without due consultation with the people.
“With this, the chairman has renage on his earlier promise in his acceptance speech and also, during one of the community meeting held after his formal inuaguration as Chairman to avoid any transaction that would bring disrepute to the community. “
The state government therefore directed that all acts of extortion known as ‘Deve’ and illegal sub-committees in the community should cease completely, adding that the state government has abolished ‘Deve’ and warned that anybody found engaging in such will face the full wrath of the law.
It noted that while it was not against the erection of barricades on streets such barricades should not be used to extort money from intending land developers but rather dwarf barricades should be used to serve as a security stop during the night only. It added that the idea of demanding for few trips of sand from land developers was a welcome idea but such trips should not be converted to money as it could create room for extortion.
The state government further warned against imposition of community labourers on developers at higher cost, pointing that if opportunities arise for skilled and unskilled labourers, the developer could engage members of the community but the cost of labour should not be higher than what was obtainable within the work environment.
All efforts to speak with the chairman of Oviri-Ogor community, Olorogun Otobrise Monday for comment were not successful as his mobile phone rang without answers and calls were not returned.