Niger Delta Youths, Security Operatives Exchange Gunshots As N20 Million ‘Gift’ Tears Community Apart
Many Uzere indigenes of Isoko South local government area in Delta state have fled their homes following a bloody crisis currently rocking the community over a N20-million oil largesse released to the community by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, (NPDC), operators of the Oil Mining Lease, OML 28.
The N20 million meant for skill acquisition for the youths in the area was reportedly diverted by the community’s President General, Felix Ewenede, in connivance with some leaders in the community.
The crisis, it was reliably gathered, started on Wednesday and continued until Sunday, with a combined team of over 200 security operatives drawn from the army, navy, and mobile police taking over the entire community.
At least, 10 persons were hospitalized following the crisis.
Some indigenes, who fled the community, told SaharaReporters that Sam Ogri, Columbus and Henry Etuwede were behind the vicious attacks witnessed in the community.
They accused the trio of funding and supplying some community youths with guns and other dangerous weapons to attack those opposed to the “diversion and embezzlement” of the N20 million.
An indigene, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Ogri, has been a major financier of these armed boys unleashing terror on the community. Can you imagine that on Thursday, these armed boys were exchanging gunshots face to face with the army and mobile police in broad daylight?
“As we talk, army, navy and mobile police have taken over our community with these armed boys shooting day in, day out non-stop, destroying properties and looting homes in the night. Some of us slept in the waters until dawn because the community is in water because of the flooding. Everybody has run to other neighbouring communities
because of the crisis.”
An indigene Uzere and current President General of the Isoko apex union, Isoko Development Union, Iduh Amadhe, told SaharaReporters from his hideout, linked the crisis to bad leadership, greed and hunger for illicit wealth in the community.
Amadhe explained further: “The community’s president general is the major cause of the crisis because he wants to grab every kobo that comes into the community from multinational oil companies. You can’t withstand the shooting in that community by some armed youths chasing away perceived enemies and engaging security agencies in a gun duel.
“The recent N20-million largesse from the NDPC for skill acquisition for the youths that he diverted is the cause of this crisis that has rocked the entire community since Wednesday. Like some of us, we are still calling for peace and a combined team of security operatives have already moved into the community.”
It was gathered that Felix Ewenede, the community’s president general, was arrested and detained at the state police headquarters, Asaba, for interrogation.
Reacting to the allegation of financing and supplying guns to some youths, Ogri said, “I am a peaceful man and will never be involved in anything that will cause a crisis in my own community.”
Meanwhile, at a security meeting organized by the Isoko South community and attended by traditional rulers, community leaders,councillors, the president general of IDU, area commander, Ozoro area command and heads of security agencies in the local government,presided over by the council chairman, Itiako Ikpokpo, the crisis in
Uzere was condemned in Uzere.
As of the time of filing in this report, peace had yet to return to the community and many indigenes who fled had yet to return to their homes.
The state commissioner of police, Adeyinka Adeleke, did not respond to telephone calls to get his comment on the situation neither did he respond to text messages sent to him.