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Gbaramatu activist escapes death

WARRI—THE Gbaramatu youth peace meeting called to settle the leadership tussle rocking youth groups in the kingdom ended in a fiasco, weekend, with Clement Tonfawei and several others escaping death by the whiskers.

The peace meeting venue was invaded by some youths according to Mr. Tonfawei, who told newsmen that his life and that of his colleagues opposed to the recent conduct of election into the influential Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, were in danger after the incident.

He said his ordeal was not unconnected with the litigation in which the leadership of the kingdom was dragged to the court over the recent election into GYC, conducted after a protracted power tussle in the kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Sheriff Mulade-led faction is opposed to stiff conditions that only university graduates can aspire to lead the GYC and is currently challenging the outcome of the election in the court.

However, Tonfawei and other members of the faction said they escaped death by the whiskers at the premises of a prominent leader of the kingdom, Chief Jonathan Ari, where Ari and other members of the traditional council had appealled to them to withdraw the suit.

He further disclose that the assault on them was led by a youthful title holder in the kingdom and other supporters of the eventual winner of the controversial election.

He said, “The attacker demanded that we signed an undertaking that we will withdraw the suit from the court and agree to the demands of the council. What we said was that we needed to consult with our members too in order to decide on the appropriate response to the decision of the chiefs, who had told us that the king had already decided on the matter and his decision was final.”Comrade Mulade who was absent at the peace meeting however reveal that he was the target of the attack, stressing that the plan was to either kill or maim him to prevent him from going on with the agitation.

According to him, he had barely left the venue of the meeting when the fracas broke out noting, “It is pertinent to note that any kingdom that refuses to be free and fair shall become a jungle where only jungle justice will operate”, and therefore appealed to the Gbaramatu monarch, Ogieh Gbaraun and the traditional council of chiefs to wade in and save the kingdom from the influence of those who believed only in the use of brutal force to resolve issues.


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