————-By Ovasa Ogaga —————-
Two persons were feared dead with at least 15 others held hostage while several others sustained various degrees gunshot and matchet wounds following a clash by Uwheru and Unenurhe communities of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The crisis started over the weekend following the alleged murder of a youth from Uwheru community who was allegedly murdered and buried at Unenurhe.
The timely intervention of policemen from the Ughelli Area Command and soldiers drafted from the 222 Battalion of Operation Delta Safe, ODS prevented the situation from snowballing into a full scale communal war.
Sources at the community said before the intervention of security personnel, two lives have be lost, while several others sustained various degrees of injuries while the clash lasted as armed youths from both communities were set for a total showdown.
According to President General of Unenurhe community, Chief Felix Edjereki, he said; “About 15 indigenes from Unenurhe community who had gone to farm or embark on one form of commercial activity at the Uwheru market, are being held hostage.”
Giving details on the cause of the clash, Chief Edjereki said: “From information available to me, they said an indigene of Uwheru community died mysteriously and was buried at Unenurhe according to reports from an oracle they consulted.
“They started by attacking indigenes of Unenurhe community who had gone to Uwheru to trade and farm. While I was trying to grapple with the situation, I got information that over 500 Uwheru youths are mobilizing to Unenurhe singing war songs.
“Before I realized what was happening, the youths had already invaded Unenurhe shooting sporadically and unleashing mayhem on indigenes of my community. As I speak with you, at least 7 persons are unaccounted for, 4 of those held hostage have been released while 11 are still held back, while one of those injured has been rushed to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, DELSUTH, Oghara.
Confirming the incident, President General of Uwheru community, Chief Ogarivi Utso said: “Though I tried to calm the youths whom were already agitated for a showdown, they rebuffed my efforts and even threatened to unleash mayhem on me.
“Unfortunately, one of our boys was killed during the incident while two others are currently receiving medical attention at DELSUTH, Oghara.”
When contacted, the state police public relations officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka said he has not been briefed on the incident and promised to get more details on the clash but was yet to do so as at time of going to press.