Many residents of Aladja, in Udu Local Government Area, and Ogbe-Ijoh, in Warri Southwest Local Government Area, both in Delta State, were feared dead yesterday in a renewed clash. Several others were injured and property worth million of Naira were destroyed.
There has been an age-long communal rivalry between residents of Aladja and their Ogbe-Ijoh counterparts. It was gathered that youths from Ogbe-Ijoh invaded the community’s Divisional Police Station, carting away arms and ammunition. Aladja, an Urhobo community, and Ogbe-Ijoh, an Ijaw community, have been engaged in protracted civil strife over land ownership and access to road.
Although security agents comprising the Army and the police have taken over the communities to stem hostilities, it was gathered that residents of both communities abandoned their homes because of the fears that the confrontation might worsen. At the time of filing this report last night, sources said several persons had been injured while two homes – one each in Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh – had been razed.
A car inside the Ogbe-Ijoh property was damaged. It was also gathered that yesterday’s clash started in the morning when some Aladja youths blocked the only access road from their town to Ogbe-Ijoh, leading to a free-for-all.
Giving the account of the incident, the Coordinator of the Ogbe-Ijoh Peace Movement, Friday Deinghan, said although the crisis started early, it was curtailed through the swift intervention of the Army. Deinghan said: “One man, identified as Freedom from Ogbe-Ijoh, is lying critically injured as a result of the clash. But for the quick intervention of the Army, there would have been a total breakdown of law and order in the area.