From: Christopher OJi.
Following Sunday attack on Idumuje-Ugboko Community in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State by suspected thugs, residents of the community have sent a Save Our Souls (SOS) to the Inspector General of Police , Ibrahim Idris and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
One person was killed, many houses destroyed and many people were injured during the invasion of the community believed to be orchestrated by notable prince in the community.
Since the Sunday mayhem, residents have remained indoors for fear of being abducted by the hoodlums who claimed they had some targets.
One of the victims, Mr. Kennedy Chuks Iloh, told Daily Sun in a telephone interview that his home was destroyed and property looted by hoodlums allegedly hired by a prince in the town.
“Our king, His Royal Magesty (HRM), Agbogidi Albert Nwoko III joined his ancestors in January, this year and since his demise, the Idumuje-Ugboko community has been thrown into crisis following divisions among palace chiefs and some youths in the community.
” While some agitators in the community believe that the throne rightfully belongs to the second son of the late king, Uche Nwoko, due to an age-long belief that only the son of a king whose mother is an indigene of the town could lay claim to the throne, others believe that such tradition had long been relaxed, therefore, qualifying Nonso to step into the throne of his forefathers.
” The arguments have been breeding frayed nerves between the two groups contesting for stool. The narrative has however, threatened the peace in the kingdom and led to destruction of properties worth millions of “The root cause of the crisis is that our former king died in a mysterious circumstance which is still question begging.That we called for investigation into the death, a group was not happy . Simply because we called for investigation ,the group destroyed my house; that of Odogwu and Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko.
“he thugs also destroyed the house of the last wife of the late king. They invaded my supermarket and carted away goods. We are begging the Inspector General of Police to protect us from the evil of these killers. We now live in fear. I have relocated my family to an undisclosed location. They killed one person.
“The only antidote to this problem is for the IGP and Delta state government to call the children and relatives of the late king to order.
“They claim that one of our illustrious sons and a royalty in the community, Ned Nwoko was sponsoring us to investigate what killed our late king. As palace chiefs and leaders in our community are we fools not to ask question about what killed our late father? We can reason for ourselves. Ned Nwoko also has the right to querry the unceremonious way his uncle died. The late obi was a father to the entire community; therefore, he cannot just die and be buried like a chicken.
“If we had revenged the attack on us, the whole community would have been grounded. But we won’t revenge because we are law abiding”.
On hispart, the Iyase ( Traditional Prime Minister) of Idumuje-Ugboko, Chris Ogwu, who was allegedly abducted, said the panacea for peace to return in the crisis-ridden community is for a peace meeting of stakeholders in the kingdom, to resolve the feud.
“The crux of the matter centers on the controversy surrounding the sudden death of the monarch, Obi Albert Nwoko III, the choice of his successor, the ejection of two wives of the late Obi from the palace and the alleged rape of 15-yea- old princess in the palace.” He said.
He revealed that all meetings summoned before now to mediate on the crises were rebuffed by Prince Nwoko, adding that once he agrees for a meeting, the matter would be resolved to the satisfaction of all.
Ogwu reminded Nwoko that instead of opposing genuine ideas, he should realise that it was his people that he wants to rule and should agree to a round able talk to resolve the impasse.
He said that the climax of the crises that had been brewing in the community began since last two weeks when mercenaries, allegedly hired a notable person in the community, invaded the community and unleashed mayhem on the people.
According to him, the hoodlums who were suspected to be hired attacked the elders, youths and members of the community vigilante groups, stressing that they identified those who were out spoken to condemn the activities of the notorious group, were targeted.
Ogwu alleged he was beaten up in his residence, his car vandalized and property looted. “Chief Iloh was the first to be attacked on Sunday evening when the hoodlums stormed his house and abducted him to the palace where he was beaten and tied up before his rescuse by some indigenes.
The Iyase said the community was almost on a standstill as markets and schools had been closed and residents forced to remain indoors for fear of attack.
He wants IGP Ibrahim and Governor Okowa to wade into the matter and save the community from further attack.