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Police storm Delta community as nine die in land dispute

By Chido Okafor (Warri) and John Akubo (Abuja)
19 October 2020   |   3:43 am
Following the death of nine persons, including a child, on Friday over a land dispute in Oleh and Ozoro communities of Isoko South Local Council, Delta State, the police command has deployed personnel to the area.

DSP Ovie Omo-Agege

Omo-Agege, other leaders urge calm

Following the death of nine persons, including a child, on Friday over a land dispute in Oleh and Ozoro communities of Isoko South Local Council, Delta State, the police command has deployed personnel to the area.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onovwakpeyeya, noted that the deployment would restore calm to the area. The Guardian, however, gathered at the weekend that Oleh youths were planning a reprisal attack, as they suspected that the killers were from Ozoro.

Boundary dispute between the oil-rich Oleh and Ozoro communities had been on for years, but the state government had reportedly not given the situation the attention it deserved.

Perturbed by the killings, some leaders in the state, including the Deputy Senate President (DSP), Ovie Omo-Agege, condemned the killings and urged calm to avert further loss of lives.

An Isoko leader and former Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, urged the state government and security agencies to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killings and fish out the perpetrators.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain wrote on his Twitter handle: “This is alien to the Isoko people and should be condemned by all well-meaning persons. I am appealing to the state government and security agencies to get to the root of this immediately to avoid complete breakdown of law and order.”

THE Deputy Senate President Omo-Agege expressed shock, yesterday, over the killing in Oleh, saying the situation demanded urgent and pragmatic efforts to prevent further bloodletting.

He appealed to the parties in the crisis to embrace peace.
According to him, there is no alternative to peace, adding that where there are perceived injustices or wrongs, lawful processes should be followed.

“Isoko’s unity and progress are on trial and it is the duty of all responsible leaders and stakeholders to ensure that these common interests are not sacrificed on the altar of in-fighting.

“Let all persons involved in this matter co-operate with both the local and state governments, as well as relevant federal authorities, to restore and maintain peace in Isoko,” he said.

In a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, the DSP directed his Senior Special Assistant on Security Matters, Col. Melvin Usman (rtd), to immediately liaise with relevant authorities and stakeholders to de-escalate the situation.

This, according the statement, was to enable the senator to get more informed briefing on the matter.