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2 Delta Communities Poise For War Over Land With Crude Oil

Uneasy calm has engulfed Okrama-Oyede community in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State after irate youths, suspected to be from Ibedeni in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, invaded the community over a land dispute.
Crude oil was said to have been discovered on the land in dispute.

Sunday Tribune gathered on Saturday that the invasion, which took place on Friday, left Okrama-Oyede inhabitants fleeing their homes and their properties destroyed by the youth.

Ibedeni community was said to be laying claims to the land inhibitated by  Okrama-Oyede people, ostensibly because of its suspected crude oil value.

The youth, said to be numbering over 20, were allegedly mobilised by the traditional ruler, who was said to have been trying to annexe the agrarian Isoko community.

Sunday Tribune gathered that the youth stormed the community when most of the villagers had gone to report the brewing tension to the Odiologbo of Oyede Kingdom.

While away, the youth allegedly destroyed properties belonging to residents of the community, with a particular target on one Edighaji, who had earlier challenged their incursion into Okrama-Oyede land.

It was gathered that a yet-to-be-identified lady was beaten to a pulp by the invaders, just as a poultry farm with over 400 birds, among other buildings, were destroyed by the rampaging youth.

Sources said that Okrama-Oyede residential building of the Odio of the community, Chief Cornelius Julius Ogbodu, a retired High Court Chief Registrar, was also destroyed by the rampaging youths who were detailed to chase away the inhabitants of the village.

The reason for the sacking of the entire community, it was learnt, was a suspicion that crude oil had been found in Okrama community, hence the alleged plan to annex the area by the Ibedeni community.

As of Saturday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Aniamaka could not be reached, just as the police at Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North Local Government Area, who were said to have been informed of the communal dispute, were yet to effect any arrest.

The traditional ruler of Ibedeni community, HRM Eze Jonathan, Ogene of Ibedeni Kingdom and other leaders of the community could not also be reached as of the time of filing the report.

Meanwhile, the Isoko Action Group (IAG), has warned the Ibedeni community to halt the fanning of embers of discord in the community.

The group urged the monarch to produce the youths who invaded the community or be prepared to face dire consequences, warning that any further attempt by the Ibedeni monarch to lay claim to Okrama would be vehemently resisted.

It will be recalled that the Ekpeti family of Obiofu, who shares boundary with Okrama, had recently instituted a court case against the people of Okrama at the Ashaka Customary Court, but have failed to appear for three consecutive times since the case began.

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