Obazuwa community boils as sections bicker over land ownership
By Nosa Akenzua Benin
There has been tension and fear in the Obazuwa community of Ovia North East local government area of Edo state following the alleged incursion by persons alleged to be Ijaw indigenes into the community’s lands.
While Obazuwa people are currently calling on the Edo state government, Oba Ewuare 11, Oba of Benin Kingdom and security agencies, to urgently wade into what they described as wanton destruction of lives and property allegedly by hostile Ijaws in a nearby Ikoro community, indications are that several persons have allegedly been killed in the area while some were kidnapped with their whereabouts unknown.
However, the police commissioner in the state, Mr Philip Ogbadu, who spoke on the situation, said that mobile policemen had been drafted to the area to ensure peace, adding that the police had arrested six persons alleged to have sponsored the alleged killings while the arrested suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigation.
Meanwhile, investigations revealed that hundreds of Obazuwa residents had deserted their homes and the community entirely out of fear, particularly with all manner of lawlessness witnessed in the community.
Speaking to journalists, the Odionwere (village head) of the community, Pa Agidi Roland, said to be currently in hospital in Benin City, alleged that persons he identified as Ijaw war lords attacked them with guns. He claimed that one Pa Michael Igbinovia was murdered by persons from the Ikoro community who invaded them. He added that domestic animals, vehicles and houses were set ablaze during the attack on the community.
In a swift reaction, the chairman, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Samuel Ebiwana, denied the allegations levelled against them (Ijaws) claiming that, indeed, they lost three persons in the attack by Benin youths and that many of his kinsmen were either injured or still missing.