By Festus Ahon, ASABA
CHAIRMAN of Udu Local Government Area, Delta State Chief Brown Jite, has described as false, claims by the Army that he was involved in the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh crisis that led to the death of nine persons.
Reacting to media reports credited to the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port-Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu that he was with the troops when they entered Aladja for the operation on Monday, Jite said he was never near the scene of the crisis as he was presiding over the Executive Council meeting of the Local Government when the fracas broke out.
Explaining that he had to adjourn the meeting abruptly when he was informed on phone that some persons had been killed in Aladja by the military, the council boss, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Henry Ubuvwerorose, said the army might have been angered by the resistance from the protesters.
The statement noted that when the council chairman “got to Aladja to get first hand information on what transpired, he discovered that the army might have been angered by the resistance from the protesters, mostly women, who were bitter over the attack on Aladja by Ogbe-Ijoh assailants earlier in the day, who opened fire to scare the protesters away only to end up killing unarmed, defenceless civilians in cold blood and wounding several.
“The council chairman wish to use this medium to convey his sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. I also want to assure the Aladja and Udu people that the Delta State Government is on top of the situation and a lasting solution would be found to the crisis very soon’’.
Jite called on the warring parties to sheath their swords, saying the wind of war could only result in more heart breaks.