Delta: Seven Missing, Houses Set Ablaze as Ijaw, Urhobo Communities Clash Escalates
LAGOS NOVEMBER 12TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Seven residents were reportedly abducted and houses torched in Ayama, Udu council area, Delta state as the community’s clash with neighboring Isaba, Warri South West council, escalated yesterday.
A security source however denied report of burning of houses in Friday’s incidence, confirming that the hostages abducted have been rescued and kept in secure custody as security operatives moved into the troubled spots.
The Delta police command through the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Warri Area Command, Mohammed Mu’Azu, confirmed that armed men from Isaba, an Ijaw community reportedly shot and killed Obruche Sunday, a youth of Ayama (Urhobo) when hostility started between the two neighbors on Thursday. Mu’Azu further confirmed that the conflict resulted from Ayama’s refusal to allow oil thieves moving illegally refined oil products from Isaba to navigate through their community.
In the escalated hostilities yesterday, Isaba youths were said to have extended the attack beyond Ayama to other Udu coastal hamlets including Epani, Ogogho and Onyobru.
Wisdom Onatomre, youth leader of Aladja, clan head to the four attacked communities said, “Seven people from Ayama have been held hostage since yesterday from about 3pm to 4pm. Several houses in about 4 communities have been burned. No life was lost in the midnight attacks and those displaced are taking refuge in Ajadja now.
“The military men came here yesterday and told us that there should not be any reprisal. Now see what has happened to our people while we were standing still and our people are still there being held hostage.”
Moses Ogugu, Isaba Youths President, In denial of the Udu communities’ claims said, “Isaba did not go to attack Ayama, we can’t attack our people. It was Aladja people who came to attack Ayama people yesterday, that’s why that fracas happened yesterday Thursday.
“The seven people that they said were held hostage were people who were passing through river route and because of the fracas that happened yesterday afternoon, they were held hostage.