The Delta State Police Command has confirmed that one person was on Friday morning shot dead as the lingering inter-communal dispute over boundary demarcation between neighbouring Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities of the Udu and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of the state took a dangerous twist.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, while confirming the casualty figure in a text message, told journalists, “One death is confirmed, pls.”
Community sources, however, claimed that two deaths were recorded in the shooting incident which occurred as early as around 5:00am on Friday.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the early morning shooting spree threw the entire residents of Ogbe-Ijoh into pandemonium as residents, who were rattled by the renewed attack, were said to have taken cover as gun-wielding invaders allegedly advanced, despite the presence of security officers.
Sources alleged that the attackers might have been infuriated by a recent statement credited to a section of Ogbe-Ijoh youths, indicating displeasure over the ongoing boundary adjustment efforts of the state government and authorities of the Warri South-West Local Government Council.
The aggrieved Ogbe-Ijoh youths had vowed not to let go any part of their land to neighbouring community in the name of boundary adjustment.
The angry youths, under the auspices of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Interest & Defensive Forum, had, during the week, protested against the alleged destruction of houses in the area over boundary adjustment just as they reportedly accused the chairmen of Udu and Warri South-West Local Government Areas, Jite Brown and Taiye Tuoyo respectively, “of unlawful destruction of houses in Ogbe-Ijoh community in the name of a boundary adjustment”.
A statement from the group had read partly, “The Grand Commandant of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Interest & Defensive Forum (OIDF), Gen. Powode Ikoro, Action Chairman, Francis Oromoni, Commander Endurance Ogbe and National president of OIDF Okosu Smart and others led Ogbe-Ijoh youths to verify purported boundary areas but to our surprise, three of Ogbe-Ijoh buildings were demolished without the consent of the owners and even the Ogbe-Ijoh people.
“We, therefore, call on the Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, Udu LGA chairman, Jite Brown, and Warri South West LGA chairman, Taiye D. Tuoyo, to think wisely and bury their evil decisions against the Ogbe-Ijoh people and rebuild the destroyed houses within seven days to avoid a showdown.”