Delta governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has decried renewed attacks by suspected herdsmen on Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror and other communities of Uwheru Kingdom, Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
According to reports from the communities, herdsmen accompanied by unidentified army personnel stormed the communities in an unprovoked attack that has become an annual routine, killed no fewer than eight persons and injured many others.
The reports revealed that the crisis started on Thursday and that as at Saturday, a lot of lives and property, including farms, had been lost.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor denounced the crisis which had resulted in unwarranted killings of innocents and called for restraint from the warring parties, saying that he had directed the Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander, 63 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Asaba, to as a matter of urgency, ensure that peace was restored to the communities.
Okowa also charged authorities of the Nigerian Army to investigate the alleged involvement of its personnel in the crisis and fish them out while appealing to the communities to remain calm and peaceful while security agencies “investigate the root cause of the crisis with a view to bringing the culprits to justice’’.
“The unwarranted attacks and killing of innocent locals in Avwon, Agadama and Ohoror communities of Uwheru kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area and the wickedness of suspected criminal herdsmen alleged to be aided and abetted by unidentified military personnel is mindless. I, appeal to the affected communities to remain calm and peaceful. I commiserate with the communities and families on the unfortunate loss of their loved ones.
“As a state, our people have been very receptive to herdsmen and other visitors, but our hospitality and welcoming disposition should not be taken as act of cowardice. The state government will continue to encourage peaceful and harmonious relations between Deltans and their visitors, but will not watch outsiders attack and kill our people any longer,” the governor stated.
In a related development, the Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Sunday commended the Nigerian Army and the Police for their prompt intervention in the clash between suspected herdsmen and Uwheru communities in UghelliNorth Local Government Area.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the governor expressed gratitude for the peace that had been restored to the communities through the instrumentality of the security agencies.
He, however, said that he was saddened by reports of persons, including security agents, feared to have lost their lives.
Okowa restated the confidence of the state government in the security agencies to rise to security challenges in the state.
He thanked the army authorities for the sustained support to the state in providing security and protecting public facilities across the state.
The governor called on the communities affected in the crisis to maintain the peace that had been restored, assuring that the security agents would investigate the cause of the clash and bring the perpetrators to justice.