Top Stories

April 15, 2024

Okuama: Allow entrapped residents access to their homeland — Ewu Kingdom begs Tinubu, Army

Kano Emirate tussle: Wade in now before it degenerates into chaos - Ulamas to Tinubu

Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu

…Identifies mastermind of Okuama/Okoloba land disputes

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, and Akpokona Omafuaire, UGHELLI

The leadership of the Ewu Clan Development Forum of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, on behalf of the Okuama-Ewu community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu, the Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, Christopher Musa, and the Nigerian Army, to allow the people of Okuama-Ewu access to their homeland.

The Forum, in a report by the president-general, Chief Samuel Adjedjor, and secretary-general, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, to the military Board of Inquiry, set up by the Defense Headquarters, said: “The leadership of Ewu Development Forum cannot speak on behalf of Okuama-Ewu community on the killing of the 17 soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army…”

In the report, the leaders attached a letter to the governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, dated February 2, 2024, in which the Okuama-Ewu community reported the attack and killing of Messrs. Igho Meshack, Power Awusa, and Okeimute Agbabulaka, and others to him (governor).

They named the mastermind as the one who instigated the communal crisis between the two communities, saying that he and his killer gang had also attempted to murder Kennedy Israel with his purported terror squad and killer squad of the Okoloba community.

According to them, the reason they want Tinubu to grant Okuama-Ewu people access to their community, which they urged the government of Delta State to intervene, was that “the people of Okuama-Ewu community stand a better chance of telling their story/plight to relevant authorities and the general public on the true story of the Okuama-Ewu imbroglio.”

The leaders also said the Ewu-Urhobo kingdom was “unaware of the military men peace mission on March 14, 2024.”
“It should be further noted that, till this moment, we have not been able to access any surviving member of the Okuama-Ewu community after the invasion in reprisal by the military since March 15.”

The Ewu-Urhobo kingdom wholeheartedly, “condemn the gruesome murder of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army on peace mission to Okuama-Ewu community on March 14, and also condole the families of the slain officers and soldiers.”
“No doubt, the slain men of the Nigerian Army are citizens of the country with equal rights to every law-abiding Nigerian. We pray they find peace with their Creator, as they remain heroes of our dear nation.

“We also condemn and extend our condolences to the people of Okuama-Ewu community and the families of innocent citizens killed in the reprisal attack by men of the Nigerian Army and the continuous siege on the community without granting access to law-abiding people of Okuama, and other Nigerians to the community.

“It is necessary to state that before this incident, the Okuama community in Ughelli South local government area, shares a boundary with the Okoloba community in Bomadi local government area, both of Delta State.

“However, both communities have lived peacefully for ages and have even intermarried. The situation took a new turn when both communities were having issues with land disputes that led to the killing of three Okuama-Ewu indigenes on January 27, 2024.

“SOS message was sent to the executive governor of Delta State and Commissioner of Police, Delta State, with other necessary agencies of government copied by the Okuama-Ewu community through their solicitor.”

In a separate February 29, 2024, letter to the Commissioner of Police, the leaders specifically mentioned the mastermind who they said ”orchestrated, planned, instigated, and masterminded” the January attack and killings in Okuama.

They told the commissioner that the killer-militia of the mastermind kidnapped, assaulted, and tortured Naira Osevata, Helen Nana, Helen Godwin, Baby Ubiodekporo, Victor Aphiayerhe, Baby Edafe and Kingsley Gentle.

The community’s solicitor, Innocent Ejedegba, who signed the letter, alleged that the mastermind was “promoting native war and instigating communal crisis between the people of Okoloba and Okuama.”

Godwin Shagulo Esq. presented and adopted the Ewu Kingdom Report and exhibits before the Board of Inquiry at Delta State Government House Annex, Warri on Friday, April 12.

He urged the police boss to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.