2 December 2012

Nigeria: Trouble in Ugborodo - How to Avert More Killings - Emami

Some stakeholders share their perspectives in this concluding part of our report on the crisis in Ughorodo, a community in Delta State, which allegedly claimed three lives.

THE Akulagba of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami, says if the trouble makers in Ugborodo had listened to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, there would not have been been bloodshed. He insists that the police should fish out the perpetrators and sponsors of the November 3 mayhem in Otumara to avert reprisal attack.

Fish out killers

The mindless killing of three law abiding citizens of Ugborodo community was carried out by a few disgruntled elements in the community and the conscious failure of the police on ground in the state to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, who are known members of our community, is disturbing.

Suffice it to say that the crisis, which culminated in the incident of Saturday, November, in which some responsible Ugborodo youths were ambushed at Otumara creeks and killed, had been actively supported and encouraged by some prominent leaders of the community, which I am a prominent citizen.

These self-styled leaders selfishly encouraged one of the factional leaders to disobey constituted authorities as represented by the governor and His Majesty, the Olu of Warri. These leaders refused to heed the advice of the governor and our monarch that they should toe the path of honour by accepting the legally constituted leadership of the community.

Averting bloodbath

I can tell you that Governor Uduaghan and the Olu of Warri made conscious and spirited efforts to avert the killings by intervening in what started as mere misunderstanding between brothers over the leadership of the community.

However, the efforts were thwarted by some leaders of the community, who canvassed and put together an illegal leadership that they actively supported against the wishes of the majority of the Ugborodo people.

The governor and our highly respected monarch engaged all stakeholders in Ugborodo in order to engender peace and amicably resolve the impasse, but the leaders consistently incited their illegal group until the Saturday, November 3 murder of the innocent citizens, identified as Gift Bazuaye, Stephen Enase and Andrew.

'My worry about the police'

I am amazed that only the military in Effurun, 3rd Battalion, Nigerian Army, led by Lt. Col. Ifeanyi out, and probably the Marine Unit of Police in Warri showed meaningful interest by visiting the scene. And also embarked on a manhunt for the perpetrators, who operated from Deghele community, also in Warri South West local government area.

I am worried that the Delta State Police Command pretended that it was not aware of the incident, where lives of three citizens were cut short by some hoodlums and it neither deemed it fit to visit the scene nor search for the killers of the innocent citizens to bring them to book.

I believe that the police, by their actions, are deliberately encouraging those whose relations have been killed to take the laws into their hands by embarking on retaliatory actions, which, in the long run, may lead to a total breakdown of law and order before justice is done in this malicious and provocative incident.

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