BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI & AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE
WARRI—The relative peace enjoyed in Ugborodo community in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, was shattered Sunday, as several indigenes of the community were allegedly injured in renewed factional fight in the Federal Government Export Processing Zone, EPZ, project host community.
Sunday’s clash between loyalists of Thomas Eyiritomi and David Tonwe camps followed a protest by some persons in Ugborodo against Julius Berger, the contractor handling the EPZ Project, in Ogidigben.
Austine Ajuremisan, a Tonwe backer, who claimed he was injured in the attack, accused the rival faction of starting the fight, during which machetes and clubs were freely used by the warring parties.
He said: “There is an order by the federal peace committee that the factions should steer clear of the company working at the project site. But we discovered that Julius Berger, irrespective of the charge, is still dealing with one of the factions.
“I was injured, a lady got her hand severely cut with a machete and many others were also injured. Some were taken to hospitals in Warri while others were taken to the Ogidigben Health Centre.”
One David Mamah, a youth leader, said to be loyal to Eriyitomi, told Vanguard: “There was no provocation at Ogidigben. We were in the house watching football match on television when one of them from the other faction led over 30 armed youths to attack us. It was settled at the Shell Beach interaction that Julius Berger should go back to work. We left and were not aware of what happened next.
“I was cut on the arm. Sheriff Eriwa, Youth Organising Secretary has his five fingers cut and now stitched. Samuel Ogbeni, Disciplinary Committee member, was stabbed on the back. Samuel Pirah, younger brother to Delta State Oil and Gas Commissioner, was also injured among others and our property destroyed,” he added.
When contacted, spokesman for the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, whose personnel are stationed in the area, said: “The Navy is not involved. It is the villagers that are having problem, but our Forward Operation Base, FOB, is there. And the situation is under control now.”
The renewed clash is coming on the eve of the day leaders of both factions are expected in Abuja for the final report of the Ovuozorie Macualey, peace committee on the communal crisis