The Ogbe-ljoh and Aladja communities in Delta State are locked in a fresh strife which, at the last count, has claimed two lives.
Aladja is in Udu council area, while Ogbe-ljoh is Warri South-West council areaâ€™s headquarters.
TheÂ SundayÂ Nation gathered that the fragile cease-fire agreement recently brokered between the two neighbouring communities by the state government was set asideÂ on WednesdayÂ when youths from both communities took up arms again.
GovernorÂ Â Ifeanyi Okowa, had admonished leaders of the two communities, especially their traditional rulers, to reinÂ Â in their subjects and ensure that terms of the agreement to peace were not breached, warning that he would hold them responsible if the situation deteriorated again.
Both communities are now trading blames over the cause of the fresh violence.
While Aladja claimed that it was sparked by Ogbe-ljoh people who harassed their women on their way to theÂ Â farm, Ogbe-ljoh claimed the fight broke out when Aladja people barricaded the only access to their community.
The Commander of the Warri Area of the Delta State police command, ACP Mohammed Muazu, confirmed the death of two persons inÂ Wednesdayâ€™sÂ fight.
He said:â€Itâ€™s just a small misunderstanding and the devil will just come between them and these guys will start shooting, killing themselves, injuring themselves and destroying peopleâ€™s properties.
â€œTwo persons died, I supposeÂ Â on the Aladja side.â€
The Chairman, Aladja Governing Council, Dogene Elias, said: â€œI can confirm that two people have been killed in Aladja, one house was destroyed, that is the one we can ascertain for now.
â€œAs I am talking to you, we have reports that they are already preparing to attack us againtonight. It is a daily thing. We didnâ€™t block their road, the thing is that road has always been the problem. They have always been preventing our women from going into the bush to harvest their crops.
â€œAnytime they see them there, they beat them up, harass them and when we intervene we take them to the police station. This has been the trend and actually weâ€™ve been meeting at the police station, area command, trying to resolve the issue. All that led to this panel of enquiry, which we are working towards. But the immediate one is they depriving our women from going to their farms; harassing them, beating them up.â€
ButÂ FridayÂ Deingha, Coordinator of Concerned Members for Peace in Ogbe-Ijoh, denied that his people were the aggressors.
His words: â€œâ€Aladja people are attacking us daily, the MOPOLs sent to Aladja were sent away by Aladja people, they came to Ogbe-ljoh, some of them left. Before then there was a peace accord that nobody should attack each other and the road should be free because that is the only road leading into Ogbe-Ijoh, which is the headquarters of Warri South-West. They have violated the peace accord, they have been attacking. You know when you push someone to the wall, thereâ€™s every tendency that the person is going to fight back.
â€œI am not going to deny that fact that Ogbe-ljoh is also fighting back. Yesterday, in the process of repelling their attack, our boys went inside there, but they later came back. No damage was done, I could not assess if there was any damage on their side. Before yesterday, two persons from Ogbe-Ijoh were shot before yesterdayâ€™s attack and the area command is aware of it.
â€œThat is the sincere story about it. We donâ€™t want trouble. Now thereâ€™s a rumour that they want to wear army uniform to come into Ogbe-Ijoh. That is the intelligence we are gathering now.â€
Culled from THE NATION NEWSPAPER