Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor
The Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, Sir Itiako C. Ikpokpo, has inaugurated a Peace Committee to work towards reconciling the Okpolo-Enwhe and Igbide communities both of Isoko South Local Government following clashes last week that claimed lives and properties.
The peace committee comprises the President General of the Isoko Development Union (I.D.U) Chief Iduh Amadhe as Chairman, Mr Kola Obrogo who will serve as the secretary of the Committee, the Odion-Ologbo of Oleh Kingdom, the Ovie of Ozoro, Rt Revd John Usiwoma Aruakpor, Bishop of Oleh Diocese, Anglican Communion, five representatives each from Igbide and Okpolo Enwhe communities as well as representatives of the security agencies.
According to local sources, the clashes broke out when militant youths from the Okpolo-Enwhe community allegedly attacked their Igbide neighbours. Although the immediate reason for the attack is unknown, both communities have been locked in an age long farm-land dispute.
A source from one of the communities, Igbide, claimed that the community indigenes had endured severe harassment from the Okpolo-Enwhe people for some time prior to the attack all in a bid to provoke a crisis.
“On the night of the 5th May 2016 spanning the next three days the Okpolo-Enwhe people launched attacks on Igbide clan first at Ekpo- Igbide and at Owodokpokpo-Igbide, far from the area of conflict.
The Igbide allege that two of their indigenes, Oghenekaro Ogbo and Okorofa Erobi were abducted and killed by the rampaging Okpolo-Enwhe militants. Houses were vandalized including the Church of God Mission at Owodokpokpo-Igbide.
Local sources also confirmed several houses vandalized and burnt at Okpolo-Enwhe community apparently in reprisal attacks by Igbide people.
Presently, tensions remain high in both communities in spite of the deployment of the military who have restored calm to the troubled area.
By: Sade Williams