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Ukpe-Sobo Forest Reserve Crisis: DTSG Takes Action, Calls Parties To Cease Hostilities

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By Daniel Dafe

Delta State Government has reacted to recent developments in some communities bordering the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) forest reserve over claims of ownership of the land comprising the reserve, adding that the Okowa-led administration is taking appropriate measures to contain the situation that has led to the breakdown of law, order and breach of peace in the said area.

Recall that a clash between Okpe and Itsekiri youths occurred on Friday that led to destruction of property with four persons badly injured.

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An official memo dated January 7, 2021, signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Pattrick Ukah, added that “the Delta State Government, through its White paper on the report of Judicial Panel of Enquiry into the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) Forest Reserve and other Ancillary matters relating to the De-reserved portion(s) and encroachment on the reserve,” have accepted some key recommendation which include:

(i) Structures within the Forest Reserve constructed without Government approval should be removed.

(ii) DSLN No. 11 of 1996, de-reserving 200 acres to Otonyasere community should be amended by inserting a survey description to determine the portions of the Forest Reserve that falls Within the 200 acres De-reserved to the community.

(iii) CEDDI Corporation Limited should return the portion of land covered by the original instrument,which De-reserved 1,200 hectares to Sapele-Okpe community.

The state government in the interest of peace and stability, thus called on all persons, families and communities involved in the matters relating to the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) Forest Reserve and parties involved in the said matter to cease all hostilities and maintain law and order.

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