From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Four persons have reportedly been killed following crisis that erupted as a result of disagreement between Iwhreko and Ekiugbo communities in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State over collection of market levies from traders.
The deceased persons including three males and a female trader, were shot in separate locations, our correspondent learnt.
Although it could not be ascertained if the deceased make victims were directly involved in the shooting, the deceased female trader was said to be a victim of stray bullet.
She was allegedly shot in front of her store, and later died at the hospital, according to local sources.
The sources added that the corpses of two of the deceased males were deposited at the entrance of one of the warring communities, point out that the third male victim was shot on Thursday night.
“What happened was that, there was an issue between both communities concerning levy collection from traders, and both sides initially agreed that nobody should collect levy from any store or trader until the issues have been properly addressed.
“However, some of the boys from one of the communities went ahead to start forcing the traders to pay unapproved levies. That was what happened.
“The other community now mobilized to stop them and in the process, two of the boys that were collecting the levy were killed. The woman that died was a victim of stray bullet,” a local source said.
Another source from the other community narrated that “we have no issues with them because the matter is before the Delta State Government and our traditional ruler and we have be living together peacefully.
“They came with two vehicles, shooting sporadically and one woman who sells plastics at the market was shot and with the information at our disposal, she has died from the bullets.
“The Odibo son that was killed, his father was also killed by same people and till date the corpse has not been found and they have come again to kill his son.
As at the time of filing this report, the to presidents general of both communities could not be reached to speak on measures to restore peace.
But the Executive Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Godwin Adode has ordered the total closure of the Ughelli main market till further notice.
The order closing the market till further notice came after a closed door meeting between the council authorities and security operatives.