There is palpable fear of a bloodbath in Warri, Delta state as youths of Okere-Urhobo extraction and their Itsekiri counterpart clashed over an order to close market places in the metropolis in honour of a deceased monarch.
Already, two persons has been reportedly shot – one on Saturday while the other Sunday morning when the youth groups engaged themselves in a gun battle over the order.
One of the yet-to-be identified victim and several others who were wounded were reportedly rushed to an undisclosed hospital as of press time on Sunday afternoon.
BIGPEN Online reports that guns boom ceaselessly Saturday from the camp of two youth groups when the gunfight started.
The incident had forced traders in the market and residential area to flee the vicinity.
The development led to the looting of abandoned shops at Okere Market by hoodlums, our source said.
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke, who confirmed the development, however said that nobody was killed during the fracas.
He said: “It is one person that was shot and hospitalised, not six. Another person was shot and hospitalised yesterday (Saturday). They’re fighting because of the burial of the King.”
BIGPEN Online understands trouble started Saturday following an order by the Okere-Urhobo people that all shops be locked in respect of the final rites of passage of their monarch, HRM (Prof.) Oghenero Okumagba, Idama ll.
Sources said that some youths of Okere-Urhobo had gone to Obahor and Okere market area, which is being shared by both ethnic nationalities to, enforced the order when they were vehemently resisted.
Sources said that youths from Itsekiri had reportedly stood against the enforcement, arguing that commercial shops cannot be shutdown in their domain, as there was no such order compelling people to do so during the burial ceremony of the late Olu of Warri, HRM Ogiame Atuwatse II.
In an ensuing argument and confrontation, the youths resorted to use of clubs, gun and other dangerous weapons.