INCESSANT KILLINGS: Owahwa sends SOS message to Delta Government 

2023: Okowa free to choose successor - Ijaw leader

By Our Correspondent 

Elders and leaders of Owahwa community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State have condemned the incessant and unprovoked attacks on their community by the neighbouring Okwagbe community, resulting in the loss of lives and displacement of some Owahwa indigenes particularly those of them that reside inside Okwagbe community.

They called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the chairman of the local government, Dr. Richard Kofi, to, as a matter of urgency, call the people of Okwagbe to order and also help in restoration of normalcy to the community.

They noted that people of Owahwa community are now living in fear as some have become internally displaced  in the community.

The call became necessary because the community is in total disarray as both social and economic activities have been affected.

In a Save- Our -Soul statement by Owahwa Leaders of Thought led by the Acting President General, Mr. John Akpoveta, and his Secretary, Mr. Lucky Ejaihwe, the community leaders expressed displeasure with some reports and comments in some quarters.

They said contrary to report that Owahwa community fought and destroyed houses in Okwagbe community, what transpired last week was an unprovoked attack on Owahwa by Okwagbe community over land dispute.

The Owahwa community leaders said that there was no reprisal attack of any kind launched by Owahwa people, rather they stood to defend themselves from further attack on their soil by the invading Okwagbe community.

The President General of Owahwa community, Mr John Akpoveta while speaking on the incident, called for the immediate intervention of the government and security agencies to stop further killings of its indigenes

According to him, 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.

He said; “Okwagbe people came to attack our community, 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 land issue, which we took them to the traditional council of Ughevwe. As indigenes, when there is such an issue, we have a direction to follow to resolve it, but when we took them to Ughevwe council, they were summoned, but they refused to appear at the council in Jeremi.

“Before then, they arrested two of our people, 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 that Thursday 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.

“Just yesterday here which is on Sunday, the Okwagbe people went on rampage, they burnt down houses of Owahwa indigenes who are of Okwagbe maternity and reside in the community, and it is so unfortunate that these boys perpetrated this act unchecked in a community where there is a Nigeria Police station and JTF unit. They are using their hand to destroy their own community and it is very unfortunate.”

The leaders disclosed the desperation of Okwagbe people to grab land which belong to Owahwa community in order to satisfy their greed. Okwagbe being backed by some political class in their community, are now desperate to acquire land from just anywhere, hence they choose to attack Owahwa community.

“The point where our people were attacked was inside the Owahwa community. Owahwa never retaliated or fought back, they only defended themselves.

“Several of our young men sustained gunshot injuries while trying to defend themselves, while others had to run for their dear lives, some are still missing as we speak.”

The Owahwa leaders also appealed to Governor Okowa to wade into the matter to ensure peace and security in the community. They stressed that the perpetrators of the attack visited on the community should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others as nobody is above the law.

The elders and leaders also appealed to the authority of Ughelli South Local Government Council and other well spirited individuals to come to the aid of the Owahwa community to help them survive this trying time.

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