As the self-determination feud between Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and Otulu-Ugo community, both in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta state persists, the leadership of Otulu-Ugo has raised the alarm that some hoodlums are being trained to unleash mayhem on them in the name of vigilante group.
The community has also called on the Delta State Government to recognize and present Staff of Office to its appointed traditional ruler for peace to reign in the community.
Addressing newsmen in Otulu, the community leader, Obi Francis Medolunwa, revealed that policemen were illegally enlisted to train the group and called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Department of State Service (DSS) and other security agencies to step in to protect the law-abiding people of Otulu-Ugo.
He said the community had a fledging vigilance group that had ensured security of lives and property of the people and any attempt to bring an external group as vigilante would be resisted.
According to him, the community had an existing vigilante, known to everyone, and if the police wanted to raise an additional group, they should reach out to the community leaders for individuals to be trained and commissioned to work with them, as they would not welcome foreigners as vigilante operatives in their land.
Obi Medolunwa recalled that the community had suffered oppression from its neighbours in an attempt to assert their autonomy on the land inherited from their ancestors, stressing that neighbouring communities were laying claims to their land which made them to institute a court case.
He explained that anyone interested in the community, either the state government, communities or individuals should wait for the ruling of the court action in suit no. 01/38/2021, pending in a High Court in Asaba, rather than harass innocent indigenes and residents.
On how to enthrone lasting peace in the area, Obi Medolunwa called on Delta State Government to recognize the town and the traditional ruler appointed by the people by giving him Staff of Office, stressing that such move would douse tension, avoid communal clashes and restore normalcy.
While reiterating his call on the state government and security agencies to come to their aid, the community leader recalled that since the unwholesome incident of September 2021, whereby one of their able-bodied young men, Mr. Cletus Okpala, was shot and killed, policemen, at the instance of Ogwashi-Uku community, had been arresting and charging indigenes of Otulu-Ugo community for an offence they knew the accused persons.
According to him, they had written petitions and police knew those responsible for the murder of Cletus, whose corpse is still in the mortuary, but they (police) still charged innocent persons, while the suspected murderers from Ogwashi-Uku were walking freely in the streets without being prosecuted.
He revealed that Force CID had concluded its investigations but alleged that some powerful individuals in Ogwashi-Uku kingdom, led by a former Minister, were influencing the Commissioner of Police, Legal Department, Abuja and frustrating efforts to charge the case to court, adding that unless the accused persons were arraigned and prosecuted, justice would not be served.
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