Published On: Sat, May 1st, 2021

Two Feared Dead As Two Urhobo Communities Clash Over Market Toll Collection

LAGOS MAY 1ST (URHOBOTODAY)-The never-ending Crisis between Ekiugbo and Otor-Ighreko communities in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, over revenue collection at the Ughelli market, was yesterday reawakened with two persons feared dead.
According to a source from Otor-Ighreko community, who did not want his name on print, said the attack came from Ekiugbo because of the revenue being collected at the market.
He disclosed that the two persons who died during the shootout were innocent people who had no hand in Revenue collection but were just unfortunate to have died from the crisis.
As a way of resolving the crises, the source suggested that the state government should take over the market and ban the two communities from collecting revenue at the Ughelli market.

Narrating his account, the President of Otor-Ighreko community, Mr Reuben Ojogho who could not state what sparked yesterday crisis however blamed Ekiugbo Community for being responsible for the crisis.
Mr Ojogho said he was not at home at the time of the incident but was informed that armed youths with vigilante’s vehicle from Ekiugbo Community invaded Otor-Ighreko community, in broad daylight, shooting sporadically and in the process killed two persons from the community.
He disclosed that Ekiugbo Community also made attempt last night to invade Otor-Ighreko Community again but they were repelled.
On his account, the President of Ekiugbo Community, comrade Benard Baker shifted the blame back to Otor-Ighreko. He explained that the crisis had been on for years and a process of reconciliation had been put in place by the Ovie of Ughelli kingdom and the Ughelli North Local Government Council.
Mr Baker narrated further that during the process, in one of the meeting, a ban was placed on revenue collection at the market pending the determination of the case, on whose favour it might go.
He disclosed that while people from Ekiugbo decided to abide by the decision, Otor-Ighreko refused and continued to collect revenue from the market even to the knowledge of those who placed the ban.
The President of Ekiugbo who spoke through telephone with our correspondent said attempt by a son of Ekiugbo to question the rationale behind the collection of revenue by indegenes of Otor-Ighreko yesterday was what sparked the crisis.
He told our correspondent that the man who questioned Otor-Ighreko boys was beaten black and blue and his vehicle seized, and the attempt made by Ekiugbo Community to recover the seized vehicle was what sparked the shootout.
The President of Ekiugbo alleged that one of the persons that died was from Ekiugbo Community, and attributed it to flying bullet from Otor-Ighreko boys, whom he said were always armed.
Comrade Baker said he could not ascertain the number of persons that died but lamented the loss of lives that the crisis had caused so far, the traumatic experience of the market women and those who sustained bullet wounds.
He blamed the lingering crisis on insincerity of leaders of Ughelli kingdom who have refused to unearth the truth behind the ownership of the land.
However, the situation had temporarily been put under control through efforts of men of the Nigeria Police force from the Ughelli Area Command and the Ughelli A’ Division.
Confirming the incident, Ag Police Force PPRO, Edafe Bright said he was aware of the crisis, just as he added that stakeholders meeting was already being called to bring lasting solution to the crisis.
He condemned the killing, stressing that it was wrong for brothers to kill brothers over land.

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