By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI— About 15 persons, including a lady, are now receiving medical attention in various hospitals, following a fierce clash between two rival villages of Umuovom and Ndiama in Ulakwo, Owerri North local government area of Imo State.
Vanguard investigations revealed that although no life was lost in the fracas, several people suffered varying degrees of injuries that resulted from the intra-communal fight, while a detachment of policemen have been posted to the area to keep the peace.
Some people that claimed to be eyewitnesses, who spoke to Vanguard, traced the near gory fight to a football match, while another school of thought blamed it on a masquerade from Ndiama village.
A villager, who simply identified himself as Charlie, said Umuovom and Ndiama were engaged in the finals of a local football championship, adding that towards the end of the game, the referee awarded a penalty against Umuovom.
“Umuovom people rejected the decision of the referee, as well as accused the centre referee of being partial. The disagreement snowballed into a fight. Bottles and other sharp instruments were freely used”, Charlie recounted.
The second story had it that Ndiama youths, defiantly moved their masquerade display to Umuovom, despite being warned against doing so.
“This defiant stance of Ndiama youths angered Umuovom youths and they decided to confront the intransigent youths”, Miss Joy Ugo Okereke told Vanguard.
Efforts made to speak with the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Nnanna Oparaochaekwe, failed as a young man who claimed to be his aide said he was not at home at time of the visit.