As the bloody crisis rocking the Uzere community, Isoko South local government area of Delta state continues, the armed Niger Delta youths unleashing terror on the community, are said to be allegedly operating from the country home of a former Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia (retd).
Indigenes who had fled the community told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that the self-styled ‘freedom fighters’ youths operated from the home of Ogomudia, considered one of their backers.
A secondary teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “Over 40 percent of the armed youths are Sam Ogri boys, while others are Gen. Ogomudia boys. David, an aide to Ferguson Onwo, the member representing Isoko South constituency II in the state house of Assembly is also among the armed youths unleashing the mayhem in the
Some in the community fingered the President General of the Isoko Development Union, Iduh Amadhe, as a major sponsor of the armed conflict in a bid to bring a deposed traditional ruler, Odogri, back into the community which the people including Ogomudia resisted.
The so-called freedom fighters were said to be controlling the community despite alleged presence of security operatives.
Reacting to the allegation levelled against him, Ogomudia, who accused the Isoko South local government chairman, Itiako Ikpokpo, of being one of the community’s troublemakers, said: “I am based in Lagos, the crisis is there and is being instigated by those God has blessed. How can anyone say I supply arms and harbour the youths in my compound? These are stupid people who are only interested in denting the image of people. I have risen to the top of the armed forces of this country, and I commanded it creditably well.
“Boko Haram could have started in my time but I nailed it and some jokers in the community now think the best thing in retirement is for me to be supplying arms. I don’t live in Uzere. I live in Lagos. I was told no weapon was used.”
He added, “If the weapons were flowing so much because Gen. Ogomudia was privileged to be in the army and they are jealous, they can go and die. At least nobody in that community helped me to rise to the top of the armed forces. It was my efforts; I built my name myself. So, no bastard is going to spoil it.”
However, Ikpokpo said: “Whoever that is alleging that I am part of the crisis in the Uzere community is irresponsible and doesn’t know the fact of the issues, or doesn’t live around here. I have a duty and responsibility to see that there is peace and order in the local government.
“The crisis in Uzere is nothing but the traditional stool and most recent is the oil money from NPDC been hijack by some of the leaders both past and present. Before now there have been armed youths who called themselves ‘Freedom Fighters’, who are enjoying the backing of some powerful forces in the community and unleashing mayhem.
“In August, we suspended the community annual conference because there was serious tension over the N20 million from NPDC meant for youths empowerment which was tempered with by the former PG of the town and
we discovered that the suspended current PG was also part of the tension. The sponsored ‘freedom fighter’ went and burnt down the vehicle belonging to the community youths.
“We have very prominent people from Uzere, and we have called for a peace meeting but General Ogomudia has refused to honour any of our invitations, he is insisting that he will not sit down with his brothers and sisters from Uzere and find a lasting peace to the whole issue, is that right, he’s supposed to be a father, leader and show
“The security also had the information that the self-claimed freedom fighters are taking refuge in Gen. Ogomudia’s compound. But I hope and pray it is not true because at his level such cannot happen. I doubt. He can’t involve in such a thing. In fact, no community has the right to groom any terrorist group in my local government.”