One injured, five shops burnt over boundary disagreement in Rivers
One person was hospitalised and five shops burnt over a communal boundary disagreement between Okuru and Abuloma communities in Port Harcourt City Council of Rivers State.
The Guardian learnt that fracas ensued at Abuloma when irate youths rushed into a shop demanding to know who allocated the shop to its occupant.
The issue heightened when the shop owner verbally challenged them while calling their bluff.
It was gathered the youths left immediately but returned briefly, reinforced and pounced on the said shop owner, beating him to a pulp, and setting five shops ablaze in the area.
A landlord, Akpaka Ajimofor who came from Abuloma community, alleged that youths from Okuru community invaded the area and demanded money from shop owners.
He said: “This morning, one of my tenants called and asked me to come because some boys have come to disturb them.”
So I left where I was and rushed down and on getting to the compound, I saw the boy that called me and demanded an explanation, but I felt I should get a clearer explanation from his boss. So, the man and I were talking when boys came with motorcycles and tricycles carrying bottles, so one of the boys asked if I was the person sent to fight them? And I said no, but I would sue for dialogue instead. The enraged boy slapped me in the face and before I knew it they scattered everywhere and set the place ablaze.
“The boys claimed they are the owners of this place whereas, we are the authentic owners of this place, we are from Abuloma.
“I was shocked because we have occupied this place for long. Our chairman has taken the person that sustained injuries to the Amadi police station to make entry. Our community people have come to inspect the damages.
“This place is under our supervision. I do not know why Oguru people will be doing this. We all know our boundaries and they should not bring the conflict to this side,” he lamented.
Some of the affected shop owners said the hoodlums came in their numbers to their shops demanding money and the persons who gave them the shops lamented their losses, adding that their goods worth Millions were destroyed.
MEANWHILE, the paramount ruler of Abuloma Community, King Bright Ateke-Fibionimama has sympathised with shop owners affected by the fire incident at Okuru junction by JDP roundabout.
Ateke-Fibionimama, who visited the burnt site directed the Okuru President and the Divisional Police officer in the area to arrest and prosecute all the youths involved be brought to book to avoid further occurrence.
He maintained that Okuru and Abuloma people are brothers as all issues will be resolved.