Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Delta State Police Command yesterday confirmed the killing of a man during an early morning exchange of gunshots between the people of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh in Udu and Warri South West local government areas of the state.
The two communities have been embroiled in a long drawn land tussle which, it seems, the state government is finding difficult to resolve.
According to sources, the renewed crisis erupted after one of the warring community’s seven-day ultimatum regarding the Delta State Government’s initiative to demarcate boundaries between the two communities’ borders had expired.
It was gathered that gunmen suspected to be from the two communities confronted each other at the expiration of the ultimatum issued by Ogbe-Ijoh community’s forum over a demolished building in the course of demarcation.
THISDAY observed that the people of Aladja, an Urhobo community in Udu Local Government Area, as early as 5a.m. raised the alarm of invasion by their neighbour from Ogbe-Ijoh, an Ijaw community in Warri South West council area, alleging sporadic shootings into their area.
The Aladja community alleged that the attack by their neighbour was a follow up to a 14-day ultimatum issued by the Ogbe-Ijoh people for the joint committee set up by the local government chairmen to stop demolition of houses at the boundary between the warring communities.
However, peace has returned to the communities as troops of 3 Battalion, Effurun and policemen took over the disputed area.
According to a military source, the troops, on arrival at the scene of the clash discovered the lifeless body of a middle-aged man identified as Frank Amakiri, an indigene of Ogbe-Ijoh as well as one Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle mounted with a magazine loaded with nine rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition besides the deceased.
Additionally, he said a suspect, one Michael Amakiri, who was identified by community members and a biological brother of the deceased, was arrested at the vicinity for interrogation.
Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Edafe Bright, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) confirmed that one person died in the shootout but assured that normalcy has returned to the area.