Tony Osauzo, Benin
A clash between Itsekiris of Delta State and Binis in Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government of Edo State, has left one person dead.
The police have consequently in Edo State has vowed to ensure that the peace agreement signed by the Enogie (Duke) of Ologbo, Owenubugie Akenzua and the leader of the Itsekiri people, High Chief Johnson Atseleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is enforced.
The state Commissioner of Police, Lawan Jimeta, disclosed that some arrests had been made in connection with the clash.
“We have made some arrests; we have called the leaders of the two people and they have signed a peace agreement. You know communal clashes are not always easy but we are on top of the situation”, he said.
It was gathered that development levy which ought to be paid by land developers led to disagreement between the Benis and Itsekiris which degenerated into a bloody clash that left one person dead and some properties destroyed.
Following the clash, several persons were said to have deserted the community for fear of reprisal attacks, even as soldiers were drafted to keep the peace in the community.
In his comment, Atseleghe accused Akenzua, the Enogie, of fuelling the crisis by harbouring suspected cultists in his palace, saying that the way out of the crisis is to evacuate the suspected cultists from his palace.
“One of the boys they shot is a big shot in Eiye confraternity. It now escalated to a cult war. A lot of people are now in hospital. The police have intervened. We signed a peace accord. The commissioner of police told us to address our people. I came but the Enogie did not come.
“After the peace accord, we came and got a report that they have destroyed some Itsekiri houses in town. They burnt their property,” Atseleghe said.
But in his reaction, Akenzua told journalists that “I don’t know of any cultist in the palace; people that come to the palace are indigenes of Ologbo community, and the palace is a public place opened to all. However, you are not allowed to come to the palace and misbehave. I don’t harbour any cultist and I am not aware of cultists coming to the palace.
“The way forward is for Atseleghe to recognize that he is staying in Beni land because he goes about saying that he is head of all Itsekiris in Benin land. They stay in Beni land but they are from Delta State, so they must subject themselves to the administration of Enogie who is representing the Oba of Benin,” he said.