Elo EDREMODA, Warri

 

NINE persons have been killed in a communal clash between Oleh and Ozoro communities in Isoko South and North council areas of Delta State.

It was learnt that the incident, which occurred between Thursday and early hours of yesterday, saw several others injured.

The casualties and other victims are reported to be from both communities which share boundaries.

Sources claim that the communal crisis was as a result of the lingering boundary dispute between both communities.

Both Oleh and Ozoro communities are power seats of the respective local governments of Isokoland.

While Oleh is host to the Faculty of Law and Engineering campuses of the Delta State University (DELSU), one of the Delta State Polytechnic’s seats is Ozoro.

The entire Oleh community has been thrown into mourning as seen in a video clip of the victims made available to this reporter.

A relative of six of the deceased persons in the clash said it was only Oleh indigenes that were killed.

According to her, the land in dispute was bought by a politician (name withheld) who was planning to relocate to the community from Asaba and wanted it cultivated.

She said: “Six persons from my mum’s family were killed. They were contracted to do the farm work and went there this morning. Only for them- my mother’s cousin, the wife, children, grandchild and a brother- to be attacked and killed”.

In a telephone conversation, the President General of Isoko Development Union, apex socio-cultural body of the Isoko people, Chief Iduh Amadhe, said it remained unclear if it was a communal clash, urging for calm in the areas.

“I cannot confirm exactly what has happened, but the police and security agents have been asked to visit the bush and come out with the real situation. That is what we have decided to do.

“But there was no issue of clash that Oleh and Ozoro people are fighting. The information just came that some people were killed in the bush and all that. So we cannot disseminate such information when we have not got the true report. That is the situation,” Amadhe said.

The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed that the communal conflict between both communities had left nine persons dead.

She said: ” In the Oleh-Ozoro crisis, nine people died. Six males and three females”.

She had earlier noted that security operatives were being deployed to carry out investigations on the incident, as well as ensure safety of lives and property in the areas.

 

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