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Delta community boils over leadership tussle, oil discovery

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By Nosa Akenzua

There is palpable tension at present in Oviri Olomu community in Ughelli South local government area of Delta state following the discovery of oil wells in the area.

While the struggle among leaders in the area has threatened the peaceful coexistence among the people, it was gathered that, if urgent steps were not taken to foil the sinister motive of some aggrieved persons, there could be blood bath soon.

The Delta state police command on Sunday, however, confirmed the arrest of 18 persons in the area and in connection with the leadership tussle currently rocking the community. It was further gathered that the recent crisis was fuelled by the discovery of oil in the community, a situation where three people were feared killed during which fight broke out in the area

Sources said that, in the last few weeks, no fewer than 27 persons were shot and injured as factional groups took up arms over the leadership crisis fuelled by the discovery of oil in the community. Investigation revealed that many people had been shot by the factional groups which included women, youths and men as many of the victims are currently being treated at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, for various degrees of injury.

Although no death has been recorded, there is fear all over the relatively peaceful coexistence among the people, especially with many of them in critical condition at the Federal Medical Center (FMC, Asaba). However, the divisional police officer (DPO), Otu Jeremi police division, CSP Pius Eredei, when contacted, confirmed that he had dispatched policemen to the community for peace to prevail.

DSP Edafe Bright, the police public relations officer in the state, confirmed that investigation was ongoing, adding that situation was currently under control as the arrested suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigation in the community.

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