Fresh Tension over Shooting of Three Fishermen, Disappearance of Two Others in Delta Community

Sylvester Idowu in Warri 

Renewed tension is brewing in the creeks of River Forcados in Bomadi Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State, as armed youths suspected to be from Okuama community in Ughelli South LGA have allegedly shot and injured three fishermen from Okoloba community, while two others are missing.

Chairman of Okoloba community, Clement Koki, in a statement issued yesterday, alleged that the fishermen from his community fishing on the river across the community were on Thursday night shot and injured by armed youths of Okuama.

The Okoloba community had recently engaged the Okuama community in a communal feud that led to the killings of 17 soldiers at the Forcados River leading to the invasion of Okoloba by the military.

But in a swift response, an Okuama-Ewu leader, Vincent Akemor denied the allegation by the Okoloba people, noting that the youths of his community were not armed and did not shoot anybody. 

Koki also disclosed that three fishermen sustained bullet injuries and escaped to the community later in the night, stressing that they were being treated in the community because of the security situation on the waterways.

“Last night (Thursday), around the hour of 8pm, our people were fishing on the river at the Mein-toruabubor Creek across our community when some youths of Okuama community came suddenly on a tricycle from the Ewu axis and started shooting at them.

“Everybody scampered for safety and three persons who sustained various degrees of bullet wounds were able to return to the community while many others were missing. From our count, there were about 15 people fishing at night.

“But later in the night, some others also found their way back to the community. As I am talking to you, two people are still missing,” he said.

He said the community could not take the victims to the hospital for proper care because the river was not safe adding “we are treating them at home because the armed youths crossed straight to Okuama after the unprovoked attack.

“We have reported the current incident to the appropriate security agencies for necessary action, and we are compelled to send out this briefing over the current development, which we have always been doing since the beginning of this situation,” he added.

Koki called on the Delta State Governor, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to intervene and save his people from the unprovoked attacks by the arm-wielding youths of Okuama community adding, “we are peace-loving and we plead with His Excellency to help us maintain the peace in the creek.”

Reacting to the allegation, the Okuama-Ewu leader, Akemor accused Okoloba of trying to destablise Okuama community, stressing that Okoloba’s allegation was a set-up against the people of Okuama.

“How can they say the Okuama community shot their people? Where did we get guns from? We shot nobody; our people are farmers and do not have money to buy guns. They are innocent of the accusation,” he added.

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