Crisis rocks Delta communities over land ownership of Utorogu Gasplant

By Perez Brisibe

The crisis rocking Iwhrekan and Edjophe communities in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State, Wednesday entered the second day with properties worth millions of naira destroyed by youths from both communities amidst sporadic gunshots.

Vanguard gathered that trouble started, Tuesday, when youths from Edjophe community demanded same job slots alongside other benefits as their Iwhrekan neighbours claiming that since they own some portion of land hosting the gas plant, they too should be accorded the rights of a host community.

Though efforts to speak with the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya was fruitless as at press time, a senior police officer at the Ughelli ‘B’ Division confirmed the incident adding that Iwhrekan community vow to resist the position of Edjophe.

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The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Youths of Edjophe community are demanding that the portion of land where Phase I and II of Utorogu gas plant is located, belongs to their forefathers, thus they should be included as host community to the company.

“They (Edjophe) are also insisting that Iwhrekan community would not have peace, except they are allowed to jointly share job slots and other benefits from NPDC/ND Western.

“Today’s (yesterday) clash resulted in the vandalization of two cars, belonging to Iwhrekan community chairman, Samson Onojechere and another indigene of the community.

“Lock-up shops at the Iwhrekan new market along Okpare road were also vandalised.”

Meanwhile, tens of women from Iwhrekan community yesterday marched along major streets of the community in protest of what they described as incessant attacks and wanton destruction of their houses and properties.

The women are demanding that the Ughelli South council chairman, Richard Kofi and the state government urgently intervene before the matter degenerates into reprisal attacks.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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