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Ban youth activities in Oghara, Gov Okowa

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Okowa. Photo: TWITTER/IAOKOWA

Sir: Permit me a space in your esteemed newspaper to express my concern over the rising cases of death recorded in Oghara community, headquarters of Ethiope-West Council of Delta State following frequent youth leadership clashes.

In the last 30 days, Oghara has witnessed several clashes among the youths resulting in death of five persons, with houses, cars and other properties belonging to the people worth millions of naira burnt or destroyed. From Otefe to Ijomi, Ovade and Oghareki, it has been one youth leadership crisis to another.

The latest crisis being the killing of five persons, including one Mr. Ovakpo Onigba, who was killed by a rival group on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Ijomi community as a result of leadership crisis. The story of what led to the killing of the five young men did not make any sense.

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A little disagreement among the youths of Ijomi community on who should become the new youth chairman prompted some people to invite thugs from a neighbouring community. They invaded Ijomi with various weapons, including AK 47 riffles and pomp action guns. And in less than two hours of their operation, five of the youths were killed and many others injured. The man who is suspected to be behind the killing and his accomplices, are now on the run.

Surprisingly, the police in Oghara seem to be chasing the shadow. Instead of going after the suspect, his accomplices and the politicians who are sponsoring them, the police are busy harassing family members of those who lost their children. Ijomi has been completely deserted with no single soul in sight after the Sunday night massacre.

Between June 1 and 3, 2021, youths in Otefe community went on rampage over leadership tussle. The crisis began after a faction opposed elongation of the tenure of the current community youth wing leadership and in the process, attacked the member representing Ethiope West Constituency in the House of Assembly, Eriatakhe Ibori-Suenu, who was hosting a peace meeting at Otefe.

The youth stormed the meeting venue and destroyed cars, injured two persons, while the lawmaker escaped being lynched.

The crisis worsened the following night when a faction of the youth attacked community leaders accused of being loyal to the other faction. The youth burnt their houses and other belongings, including cars.

Ovade, the host community to Pan Ocean Oil Company, witnessed similar bloody youth leadership crisis some months ago. The bodies of the people killed, including the vice chairman, Ighoyivwe, during the crisis are still in the mortuary.

With peace and sanity fast eluding Oghara, the situation is the same in Oghareki, with regular night shootings that have claimed so many lives.

With the build up to the 2023 general elections, it is pertinent for Okowa to act fast by banning activities of youths in Oghara and other communities in Delta where they are found wanting.

Mr. Stephen Etakpobunor wrote from Oghara, Delta State.

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