Okowa, others caution Igbide, Okpolo- Enwhe, sue for peace
No fewer than eight people have been feared killed in Igbide and Okpolo–Enwhe communities of Isoko South local council in Delta State in renewed hostilities over a protracted land dispute.
Apart from the eight persons feared dead, several buildings have been burnt while scores of people from both communities have been injured and are receiving treatment in different hospitals.
Consequently, both communities have been deserted as many fled to neighboring towns and villages for safety and security due to recalcitrant youths of both communities who are bent on carrying out reprisals.
However, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Chairman of Isoko South council, Ithiako Constantine Ikpokpo, have condemned the wanton loss of lives and property, describing the violence as callous, distasteful and a sad reminder of the loss of common values and sense of brotherhood that bound the Isoko together.
Ikpokpo noted that the endless panic, tension and large-scale destruction over a piece of land was cruel and inhuman, adding: “government will not tolerate the excesses and unbridled callousness of some blood thirsty murderers to ferment monumental havoc.” He appealed to both communities to ceasefire immediately.
Meanwhile, Okowa, yesterday warned that government would deal decisively with perpetrators of the clashes.A statement yesterday in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, the governor condemned the renewed violence in its entirety, stating the violence had continued in spite of government’s effort to resolve the protracted land dispute.
“The attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to the renewed hostilities between Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities in Isoko South local council.
“Government is worried over the intensity of the renewed attacks on both communities, which have culminated in loss of lives and property,” the statement reads.
Okowa, however, regretted the displacement of families, businesses and directed security agencies to investigate the matter and ensure the prosecution of the culprits in the renewed communal clashes.
He condoled with those who lost their family members and commiserated with the government and the Isoko people over the unfortunate incident. He further called on the two communities to live in harmony, remain calm and keep the peace while investigation is ongoing, assuring that perpetrators of the violence would be identified and brought to book in accordance with the law.
While strongly condemning the killings and other acts of violence in the communities, the governor stressed that resorting to violence to redress grievances by any group of people will not be tolerated in the state. “Such unlawful and despicable expression of grievances will be punished in line with the extant laws of the land,” the statement added.