No fewer than three persons have been reportedly killed in the renewed crisis brewing in Ugborodo, Warri South-west Local Government Area of Delta state.
BigPen Online learnt that the renewed crisis which broke out on Monday after the last week Wednesday incident left over sixteen persons hospitalized and seven reportedly missing.
The crisis broke out following the recent inauguration of parallel Ugborodo Administrative Committee by the Secretary to the Delta state Government, Mr. Festus Ovie Agas.
It was gathered there was a free-for-all fight in Otumara community by youths loyal of one Austin Oboroegbeyi who enjoys the backing of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and another group loyal to the Chairman of Ugborodo Adminstrative Committee (UAC) Mr. Jolomi Metseagharun.
Recalls that Oboroegbeyi-led Interim Management Committee was recently inaugurated by the SSG in Warri South Council Area, a development which is said to have fueled the prolonged crisis over who controls the soul of Ugborodo, an oil producing community.
A similar hostility few week ago, led to the death of two persons, one Pa Benson Okoturo and Samuel Mayomi, who were killed following a violent confrontation between the two factions in the lingering leadership crisis in Ugborodo community.
Local sources disclosed that the renewed violence clash which recorded casualty on both sides, saw some of the youths inflicted with severe cut on their heads, shoulders, arms and back while one of them had his left hand completely severed from his body and was immediately rushed to Warri for medical attention.
Our source said that by the time the dust raised by the clash settled, over 16 youths of Delgele community (an Itsekiri settlement) in Warri South -West Local Government laid critically ill in various hospital in Warri and its environs following the fierce machete battle among community Indigenes.
An eye witness, who simply gave his name as Chris Omaseye, disclosed that trouble started at about 4:27pm on Wednesday when the boat conveying the group loyal to the Warri base committee wanted to have access to the community but were resisted by the local indigenes especially youths who were loyal to the community base committee.
The Warri based committee led by Oboroegbeyi had been accused of fleecing the community of huge sums of money in time pass hence the resistance by the locals who vowed that they would never allow same set of persons impose on them by the State Government.
BigPen Online was told that a similar resistance on the supposed parallel Ugborodo Community Management Committee (CMC) from gaining access into the community by the group opposed to the Oboroegbeyi-led committee led to the earlier clashes.
“What played out in the community last Wednesday was similar to the experience at Ugborodo community in Warri South where the indigenous Administrative Committee led by Mr. Jolomi Meseagharun and the parallel Management Committee led by Bar. Austin Oboroegbeyi, allegedly imposed by the state government had been involved in a running battle.
“It appears the indigenes of Ugborodo Community and other adjoining Itsekiri riverside settlements in Warri South West Council are now at war with one another, following the confusion created in these communities by the Delta state government who appears bent on imposing community leadership on the people against their wish”, the source said
Meanwhile, reacting to the incident in a telephone conversation with BigPen Online, the Chairman Ugborodo Adminstrative Committee (UAC) Mr. Jolomi Metseagharun, accused the Secretary to the Delta state Government (SSG), Mr Ovie Agas, of deliberately causing disaffections among kinsmen and inciting crisis among Itsekiri indigenes in the riverine communities especially in Ugborodo and other adjoining settlement in Warri South West.
He appealed to the federal government to investigate the SSG, Agas, with the view of finding out why he has chosen to incite indigenes of Ugborodo and other Itsekiri communities against one another, adding that it has become very clear that the aim and objective was to perpetually oppress the local indigenes who are members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
Describing the action of the SSG as a gross abuse of position and power, UAC Chairman noted that it was the arbitrary use of power by Mr. Ovie Agas that led to the deaths, crisis and unrest in Ugborodo and Delgele community.
“Agas inaugurated parallel committee for both Ugborodo community and neighbouring Delgele community and this singular action that led to avoidable deaths of indigenes, as well as chaos and anarchy in Ugborodo and other Itsekiri settlements.
“We have it on good authority that Mr. Agas intention was to perpetually oppress the locals who are committed members of the APC and hardened supporters of President Muhammed Buhari’s government by imposing committee members who are PDP faithfuls residents in Warri urban on them against their wish”.
He said that Agas also wrote to the various oil companies not to have any dealings with the people residents in their communities.
When contacted, the Police Area Commander, Warri, ACP Mohammed Shaba, confirmed the clash at Otumara to one of our correspondents saying that he does not have the exact figure of the casualty recorded in the fracas.
Efforts to get comments from the SSG proved abortive as he was not picking up calls as at time of publishing this report.
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