From: Ben Dunno, Warri
Indigenes of Egbema/Arogbo communities in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, have declared a 39-year old fisherman, Pius Okito, missing after being allegedly shot and abducted by some unidentified gunmen suspected to be Aladja youths while on a fishing expedition along Ogbe-Ijoh boundary river near Warri.
Investigations revealed that the missing person and his co-fishermen were victims of mistaken identity by their attackers who took them as indigenes of Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South-West Council area who had been involved in a protracted communal clash with their Aladja neighbour (Urhobo settlement) in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement signed by President General Arogbo Community in Warri, Chief Barrister Olowo, the people have expressed fears over the safety of their kinsman who had been declared missing for about four days and all effort to locate his whereabouts along the creeks of the Ogbe-Ijoh river had yielded no positive result.
According to the statement, “We wish to inform the general public that our son Pius Okito was shot and abducted by Aladja youths. He was shot and abducted while embarking on a fishing expedition with his friend Perela Pounah in a creek between Aladja and OgbeIjoh communities in Warri, Delta State on Sunday May 7, 2017”.
“They were catching fish with throwing net when Aladja fighters who came with a speed boat, attack them. They shot three gun shots and Pius Okito was shot and abducted while Perela Pounah narrowly escape dead”.
The statement read further that; “Pius Okiti hails from Polobobo( Isekelewu) Ijaw community in Egbema kingdom, Warri North LGA Delta State, While the survivor Perela Pounah hails from Opuba community in Arogbo kingdom Ese-edo LGA, Ondo state, but until his abduction both were living in Fenegbene community in Warri corner.
”It is pertinent to note that Pius Okito never hails from OgbeIjoh or Isaba communities. Egbema is not part of the war between Aladja and OgbeIjoh communities and there is no point our son be abducted or likely killed unnecessarily. Aladja people should produced our son. This is a clear sign that they are fighting Ijaw randomly”, the community demanded.
It stated that; “The case has been incidented in Warri Area command and Marine police, Warri, Delta State. A search team was led by Marine police, Warri to visit the scene of the incident on Monday 8th, may 2017 but neither the himself and the canoe was found ,only the throwing net was found. Egbema people are not lazy people and that our appeal for our son should not be treated with disdain and laxity”.
Continuing, the statement noted that; “Where ever he is being kept , he should be release in immediately effect. If they have kill him , they should tell us, for the fact that he has not been seen for about 3day since the incident, We are made to believe that he may have been killed”.
“But we want to equally assume that he is kept in their detention. It is our candid demand that he should be release without further delay. Whatever is his present condition in their custody, We want him live”.
“We are calling on Delta State government, all security agencies to prevail on Aladja community to produce our son if they are not fighting Ijaw randomly”, it concluded.