Sir: Allow me space in your esteemed diary to express my concern at the increase in death cases recorded in the community of Oghara, seat of the Ethiopia West Council of Delta State following frequent clashes between youth leaders.
Over the past 30 days, Oghara has witnessed several clashes between young people that resulted in the deaths of five people, houses, cars and other property belonging to people worth millions of naira were burned or destroyed. . From Otefe to Ijomi, via Ovade and Oghareki, it was a crisis of leadership from young people to another.
The latest crisis being the murder of five people, including one Mr. Ovakpo Onigba, who was killed by a rival group on Sunday July 4, 2021 in the community of Ijomi following a leadership crisis. The story of what led to the murder of the five young men made no sense.
A small disagreement among young people in the Ijomi community over who should become the new youth president has prompted some people to invite thugs from a nearby community. They invaded Ijomi with various weapons, including AK 47 rifles and shotguns. And within two hours of their operation, five of the youths were killed and many more injured. The man suspected of being behind the murder and his accomplices are now on the run.
Surprisingly, the Oghara police seem to be chasing the shadows. Instead of going after the suspect, his accomplices and the politicians who sponsor them, the police are busy harassing family members of those who have lost their children. Ijomi was completely deserted with no soul in sight after Sunday night’s massacre.
Between June 1 and 3, 2021, the young people of the Otefe community raged against the struggle for leadership. The crisis began after a faction opposed the extension of the mandate of the current leadership of the community youth wing and, in the process, attacked the member representing the Ethiope West constituency in the House of assembly, Eriatakhe Ibori-Suenu, who was organizing a peace meeting in Otefe.
Young people stormed the meeting place and destroyed cars, injuring two people, while the lawmaker escaped lynching.
The crisis escalated the following night when a youth faction attacked community leaders accused of being loyal to the other faction. Young people burned their homes and other property, including cars.
Ovade, the host community of Pan Ocean Oil Company, witnessed a similar bloody crisis in youth leadership a few months ago. The bodies of those killed, including Vice-President Ighoyivwe, during the crisis are still in the morgue.
With peace and sanity quickly eluding Oghara, the situation is the same in Oghareki, with regular nightly shootings that claimed so many lives.
As the 2023 general election approaches, it is relevant that Okowa acts swiftly by banning the activities of young people in Oghara and other communities in the Delta where they are deemed to be failing.
Mr. Stephen Etakpobunor wrote from Oghara, Delta State.