By Perez Brisibe
OJOBO — HOODLUMS numbering over 20 in the early hours of yesterday invaded the oil community of Ojobo in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State in an attempt to topple the current leadership of the community headed by Chief Tito Ekolo.
Tens of persons sustained various degrees of machete cuts with locals from the community scampering into the forest as several houses were destroyed by the invading youths who shot sporadically into the air while the melee lasted.
Describing the incident as barbaric, an indigene of the community and coordinator, Ijaw Human Rights Monitors, Fred Brisibe, said: “The state government should ensure that this matter is dealt with appropriately especially the source of arms being wielded by these invading youths to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2003 that led to the loss of several lives and destruction of people’s valuable investments.”
Sources at the community told Saturday Vanguard that the hoodlums who stormed the community at about 2a.m, took over the community radio house and the community secretariat which serves as symbol of authority of the community and announced a youth leader of the community, Felix Okporu who was said to have lost the election for the chairmanship position to his rival and cousin, Chief Tito Ekolo who was elected as chairman of the community in May.
“Though Ekolo has been acting as chairman of the community after he was declared winner in May, Okporu had approached the court over his dissatisfaction in the conduct of the election,” a youth leader in the community, Harlims Perekpo stated.
Speaking further, he said: “Armed with guns and matchet, they invaded the community at about 2a.m shooting sporadically till around 6a.m when military personnel of the Operation Delta Safe were drafted to the community and took into custody Okporu, Ekolo and one Ewele Ojoboebi.”