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Okuama: Tension In Delta As Okoloba Women Protest Against Alleged Arrival Of Armed Youths



Okuama Communities soldiers

Tensions are rising between the Okoloba and Okuama communities in Delta State as a fresh communal clash looms after the withdrawal of soldiers from the area. reports that the communal crisis between Okoloba and Okuama communities led to the killing of 17 soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

On Saturday, the women of Okoloba community in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State staged a protest against the return of armed youths to their area.

Dressed in black, the women were led by Mrs. Timipakebi Goodwin, the chairlady of Okoloba community, and Mrs. Mary Koibi, the secretary. They held a peaceful demonstration along the coastal fringe of the community, chanting slogans against violence and bloodshed.

During the protest, they called on the Federal Government to intervene and provide assistance to prevent further conflict.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘We say No to violence’, ‘Enough of the killings on our land’, ‘We say no to the return of armed youths of Okuama in a commando style’, ‘Resettle Okuama people among their Ewu brothers in Ughelli South LGA’, ‘We mourn the killing of the 17 soldiers’, among others.

Mrs Goodwin, in a protest letter, which was copied to the Police, DSS, NSCDC, JTF as well as the Acting Chairman of Bomadi LGA, noted that the armed youths could kill at the slightest provocation.

The address read, “Less than 24 hours after the exit of the troops from Okuama, fresh crisis erupted with another neighbouring community, culminating in the killing of one person while three other persons were seriously injured.

“The person who was killed and those who sustained machete wounds were alleged to have gone there to loot.

“The latest killing showed that the people of Okuama can kill human at the slightest provocation; the sanctity of human life means nothing to them. It also shows that neighbouring Ijaw communities like Okoloba are not safe.

“So, resettling the people of Okuama in their present location, which is in-between communities in Bomadi local government area, is an attempt to encourage further communal clashes and bloodbath.

“Just last week, youths of Okuama community came out of the Mein-toruabubor creek, which leads to Ewu, on three speedboats and all of them on camouflage.

“They shot sporadically in the air before proceeding to Okuama. They moved to and fro the creek three times, and at every time they shot their guns in the air at the entrance of the creek.

“We are calling on the Federal Government to come to our aid, and the panacea to these incessant clashes and killings is for the government to relocate Okuama to Ewu clan in Ughelli south local government area, where they truly and rightly belong.

“Resettling them among their own people in Ewu clan of Urhobo land will foster mutual trust among themselves as they are of the same ancestry and speak the same dialect.

”First, we the women of Okoloba community sympathize with the killing of 17 soldiers and officers of the Nigerian army on peace and rescue mission to Okuama, following the kidnap of our son.

“We sincerely mourn their untimely death and pray for the repose of their souls. We also pray for their families.”

It should be noted that a new crisis erupted in Okuama less than 24 hours after the troops left the community, resulting in one person being killed and three others seriously injured.

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