Three persons were reported dead yesterday and several others wounded as people of Aladja in Udu council area and their Ijaw neighbours in Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba kingdoms in Warri South-West council area, both of Delta state, resumed their age long bloody rivalry.
Aladja, an Urhobo community, and her Ijaw neighbours had been engaged in a violent fight over some disputed parcels of land adjoining them at different points. Aladja shares a boundary Ogbe-Ijoh on one side,and Isaba on another side.
Although the cause of yesterday’s resumption of hostilities could not be ascertained as at the time of filing report yesterday evening, as each of the sides claimed being the victim and the opposing side the aggressor.
Efforts to get a clearer and more reliable account of the crisis was made more difficult as the Police Commissioner, Zanna Ibrahim, when reached, said he was yet to get details of the crisis as he was on his way to Warri to see things for himself.
While Ogb-Ijoh claimed to have lost two persons to an early morning attack from Aladja, which left more than 12 people wounded, Aladja claimed it lost one person, had four wounded persons and that it never attacked either of the Ijaw communities, rather it woke up to gun sounds from both sides of its boundaries.
Narrating their various communities’ experiences to the Nation in Warri yesterday, leaders of youths in Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba, Chief Monday Keme and Moses Ogugu, respectively, alleged that Aladja people attacked their communities in the early hours of yesterday.
At about 7:45am on Thursday, November 16, 2017 Aladja attacked Isaba Community and by 8:45am another attack was launched against Ogbe-Ijoh and lasted for about 2 hours leading to the death two of persons and leaving more than 12 persons wounded”, Keme said.
But telling his community’s side of the story, the youth president of Aladja, Wisdom Onotomre, said his community woke up to sounds of gunshots from Isaba axis from about 7am, which was followed up with similar sounds from the Ogbe-Ijoh axis from 9am.
“About 7am this morning we started hearing firing from the Isaba axis. That was not strange because we’ve always been hearing such in the past that the soldiers would tell us to calm down. But after this morning’s incident, at about past 9am we started hearing shooting from the Ogbe-Ijoh axis, from both left and right.
“It was in that process when the Mobile Policemen were exchanging firing with them that some of our boys went inside the bush to see if any of our people were within that territory, to bring them out, that one person was shot dead and about four sustained injuries. They were shot by the Ogbe-Ijoh people”, Onatomre said.
Meanwhile, when reached, the Delta state Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, when reach, said “I’m presently on my way to that place, I don’t have that information yet. Let me get there first”.