There is palpable tension in Delta communities of Owawha and Okwagbe, both in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State as fresh land disputes between the two communities have allegedly claimed five lives.
The crisis started Thursday morning at about 9 am following an alleged attack on Owahwa community by youths of Okwagbe which led to the death of indigenes of Owahwa community.
Speaking on the incident, the President General of Owahwa community, Mr John Akpoveta called for the immediate intervention of the government and security agencies to stop further killings of its indigenes
He said, “Okwagbe people came to attack our community with full force, and we as a community were not expecting or ready for any attack of such. They just came and killed one of our boys.
“We are having a land issue over which we took them to the traditional council of Ughevwi. As indigenes when there is such an issue, we have a direction to follow to resolve such issue but when we took them to Ughevwi council, they summoned them but they refuse to appear at the council in Jeremi.
“Although before today, they arrested two of our persons, and we were planning how to get them because we don’t know where they took them to, and about three of our persons that went to the bush were also missing and we were looking for them.
“So this morning, Okwagbe boys came to our community because they believed nobody is there, when our boys heard of it they went to stop them because you won’t just allow somebody to come into your community and start destroying properties, burning houses, not knowing they were armed. By the time they saw our boys they shot at them and killed one of them, this is the body you are seeing here.
“Nobody tolerates nonsense but we are peace-loving people, so we are using this medium to appeal to government and security agencies to come to our rescue because we learnt they are planning another attack tonight.”
When newsmen visited the Okwagbe community to get first-hand information about the incident, the visibly armed youths stop them from taking interviews from any indigene of the community.
However, one of the indigenes who later spoke to newsmen on code, alleges that four indigenes of Okwagbe had been killed by Owahwa youths.
He said, “They attacked and killed two of our indigenes that went to the bush. Then they also attacked another two who were on bikes coming from Oginibo. They shot one of them in the neck, we rushed him to the hospital but he died while the other died on the spot. That is the blood you are seeing there. So four of our persons have died. They just even took them to the mortuary.”
When the news crew visited the communities at about 2:30 pm, armed police and military personnel were seen stationed at the boundary between the two communities.
However, as of the time the crew was leaving at about 4:30 pm, the security operatives have left their position despite building tension in both communities.
Efforts to confirm the report with the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Dsp Bright Edafe, were unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report, as calls to his mobile line was not answered and the message to him was not replied to.