How To Restore Peace In Idumuje-Ugboko Community – Iyase
Following the violent attacks on citizens of Idumuje-Ugboko community in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Idumuje-Ugboko, Chief Chris Ogwu, has averred that the panacea for peace to return in the crisis-ridden community is for a meeting of stakeholders to resolve the feud.
The feud is revolving round the death of the monarch, Obi Albert Nwoko 111, the choice of his successor, the ejection of two wives of the late Obi from the palace and rape of 15-year old princess in the palace.
Addressing a press conference in Asaba yesterday, Chief Ogwu, who was supported by former President-General of Idumuje-Ugboko Development Union (IUDU), Prince Walter Eziashi, the Secretary of the Land Committee, Chief Kennedy Iloh and one of the wives of the late Obi, Mrs. Faith Okwukwe Nwoko, said that one person has been killed and several people wounded and property destroyed.
He revealed that all meetings summoned before now to mediate on the crises were rebuffed by Crown Prince Nonso Nwoko, adding that once he agrees for a meeting, the matter will be resolved to the satisfaction of all.
Chief Ogwu reminded the crown Prince that instead of opposing genuine ideas, he should realize that it is his people that he wants to rule and should agree to a round table talk to resolve the impasse.
He said that the climax of the crises that had been brewing in the community began since on Sunday when mercenaries, allegedly hired by the palace, invaded the community and unleashed mayhem on the people.
According to him, the hoodlums who were suspected to be hired by the crown Prince, Nonso Nwoko, attacked the elders, youths and members of the community vigilante groups, stressing that they identified those who were out spoken to condemn the activities of the crowned Prince, were targeted.
Chief Ogwu said he was beaten up in his residence, his car vandalized and property looted. He told Journalists that Chief Iloh was the first to be attacked on Sunday evening when the hoodlums stormed his house and abducted him to the palace where he was beaten and tied up before he was rescued by some indigenes.
The Iyase said that the community is almost on a standstill as markets and schools had been closed and residents forced to remain indoors for fear of attack.
He said that in the interim, police should move into the community and arrest those perpetrating the crimes and bring them to book, so that peace will be restored to the village
According to him, police had not lived up to expectation and they only visited and stopped at the police station without moving in to arrest the rampaging cultists.
Also speaking, Prince Eziashi attributed the reason for the subsisting crises to traditional breach on the successor to the king and rape of the 15-yer old Princess, which he raised the alarm and police are investigating.
He said that no community will agree to crown a man facing criminal cases in the court, adding that cause of the matter in the community is purely traditional.
Prince Eziashi, while answering questions, declared that it was diversionary to link Prince Ned Nwoko, former member of House of Representatives and Delta North Senatorial aspirant, to the feud because he is an innocent citizen who desires development of the community and well being of its people.
He also called on security agents to visit the community and make necessary arrests to forestall the on-going mayhem, adding that the invaders were also attacking youths of Idumuje-Ugboko.
In his comment, Chief Iloh confirmed he was abducted and beaten by the invaders before he was reused, adding that those perceived to be loyal to Prince Ned Nwoko were singled out for the attack.
He said that he had petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command, mentioning names of those behind that attack on him, but no arrest had been made, adding that the community has been on fire since the past few days.
According to him, the youths who invaded the community seized the chairman of the Vigilante Group, Mr. Peter Bama, and forced him to identify all the members, who were also attacked and their operational guns seized from them.
He said that the rampaging cultists also invaded the secondary school in the town and forced students to go home, stressing that since then, children and youths have not been going to school.