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Ijaw, Urhobo communities in violent face-off


Ijaw youths

Ijaw youths

• N’Delta group wants Uduaghan on FG’s peace team
• Tompolo denies link with militants threatening fresh attacks

Intermittent clashes between Ijaw and Urhobo communities in Warri South West and Udu Local Council of Delta State are taking a turn for the worse.

The recent tension follows a 14-day ultimatum last week by the youth wing of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Udu chapter, demanding Ijaw people leave Urhobo land.

While the state government has set up a panel to resolve the protracted Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja conflict, a new front has been opened between Isaba and Ayama communities in the same local council.

Trouble started when Ayama, an Urhobo community, allegedly barred Isaba (an Ijaw community) from using its water channels. Ayama accused Isaba of oil bunkering, saying it didn’t want a backlash of invasion by the Nigerian army.

In retaliation, armed Isaba youths allegedly invaded Ayama and Epame communities, burnt down buildings and abducted seven persons.

Ijaw and Urhobo youth leaders met at the weekend to calm the storm. Youths of Udu, meanwhile, are threatening to storm Isaba to free their kinsmen allegedly being held there.

Also, a group, the Niger Delta Youths for Development, yesterday called on President Buhari to include former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State on the team charged with fashioning a solution to attacks by militants.

The group, in a statement signed by its president, Donald Igudia, said: “The bombings of our oil facilities by Niger Delta militants must stop. Uduaghan will help to ensure that peace reigns.”

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