From Joseph Obukata, Warri
The chairman of Effurun Spare parts market in Uvwie local government area of Delta State, Mr Cletus Ojore who was beaten to pulp by invaders, is reportedly ‘recovering’ in an undisclosed hospital.
The market sited near the roundabout in Effurun, near Warri, commercial hub of Delta, is currently enmeshed in leadership tussle.
Daily Sun reports that pandemonium had last week Monday broke out in the popular market located along the Warri-Sapele-Benin as two factions battle over the headship of the market.
It was gathered that violence erupted Monday during which the chairman of the spare parts market, Mr. Cletus Ojore was severely assaulted and found ‘lying in a pool of blood’ followed an attack by supporters and thugs mobilised by one faction.
It was learnt that one of contender to the position of the chairman.of the market had led thugs with dangerous weapons to the market in an attempt to overthrow the incumbent chairman.
Witness said; “They wanted to overthrow the sitting chairman. The other faction led thugs and some boys whom we know in the market to attack the chairman. He was beaten to a state of coma.The man was seriously messed up, they even naked him, torn all his cloth and beat him to a point of death.
“The one who led the thugs is contesting for the chairmanship but the constitution of the market actually forbids him from contest because he is not qualified. The constitution says you must have spent 10 years in the market to be eligible for position but he went to court and the matter has been in court for the past two years now.
“Based on the prolonged legal battle, no election has been held since then so he now formed a faction for himself. The local council chairman decided that the current chairman should remain in office pending when the court decides but the other group took laws into their hands and mobilised thugs into the market.
“They laid ambushed for the chairman unknowing to all of us. As soon the man drove in they accosted him and started beating him. Everyone ran for his dear life because they came with dangerous weapons. We have to run first because they were heavily armed.
“The other faction is led by Ibo people too. The current chairman is from Ebu, Delta North. We know each other here. As we are talking they have started picking the boys one after the one. They have also locked their stores”, the source said.
It was gathered that the deployment of soldiers to the scene by the vice chairman of the market saved the day as the thugs were said to have gone berserk attacking perceived supporters of the chairman.
The development it was learnt prompted the closure of the market by the Uvwie Local Government chairman, Hon. Ramson Onoyake.
Daily Sun gathered from an executive member of the market on Sunday that the chairman who is currently hospitalized in an undisclosed hospital, is still recuperating from various degree in of wounds inflicted on him since the incident.
He said that tension were heightened in the market last week that the chairman might die of the injuries but thanked God that he survived and now recuperating.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the market which was yet to be unsealed for business to forestall further violence.