-As UPU Urges Warring Communities To Exercise Restraint
By Omonigho Odens
Aladja Community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State has said that the Nigerian Army lied, insisting that they (Army) killed nine of its indigenes during the renewed war with Ogbe-Ijoh people.
The Army had denied the allegations of killing nine Aladja indigenes in a chat recently.
President of Aladja Community Council, Mr. Elias Dogene said: “If the Army authority denies, it means they are not being truthful to the oath they swore to defend the citizens of this country.”
Dogene who was represented by the Assistant Secretary of the community, Comrade Ighotegwolor Bezi, said Aladja indigenes did not shoot at the soldiers as they alleged.
Dogene said the soldiers used an armoured personnel carrier in unleashing the dastardly and murderous acts on defenseless citizens in Aladja.
He said many indigenes were wounded by the soldiers and yet they are denying the allegations.
Dogene called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to set up a “probe panel committee” to probe the army officer who led the team, Maj. Hassan.
According to Dogene, “If they’re saying that they did not shoot anybody, let them come, we will take them to the mortuary to see the corpses themselves.”
“Are we saying people just fall and die and they see bullets in their bodies? Government should take up this matter. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a probe panel to probe the army officer, Maj. Hassan, who led the team.
“The information we got is that, so many of the team that came were Ijaw boys. So, if they probe this, who he came with, we will get it because the Ijaw community who is fighting against Aladja.
“The Aladja Community was facing very serious attack and Aladja was repelling them when the army came in. We do not know who brought them but the information we got was that Otuaro brought them.
“Otuaro gave Maj. Hassan money to shoot at sight. Thank God you the press went through the clinic and saw casualties.
“That small girl, did she carry gun? Did she carry arms? So, if the army authority is denying, they should set up a probe panel committee to probe the team who came.”
Meanwhile, Oasis Magazine (OM) correspondent who was in Aladja Community today filed in photographs of some persons who were allegedly injured by the soldiers.
One of the photographs indicated that there was a building riddled with bullets wherein one of the injured persons was allegedly shot.
The injured victims who were allegedly shot at different locations are currently receiving treatments at two different undisclosed hospitals in Udu Local Government Area.
Some of the injured victims whose faces appear in photographs include Miss Joy Sundaya, aged 15years.
Others are Edirin Oviri (32years), Jonathan Esakpaide (32years).
They were shot on top a motorcycle along Iyeghe road.
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In a related development, the President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Chief Engr. Joe Orode Omene JP, recently presided over an extended meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC).
The group released a press statement that said: “UPU NEC regrets and condemns the resumptions of fatal hostilities between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw neighbouring communities.
“Our condolences go to individuals and families who have lost loved ones to the renewed violence. We call on parties, their supporters and sponsors to exercise utmost restraint and cease further hostile behaviour and remember the many years of mutual friendship they have had from time immemorial.”
They continued: “NEC calls on the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to sum up the political will to implement the pending reports of the committees set up in the past to handle the issue.
“The government of Delta State cannot continue to play the ostrich by warehousing the reports of past efforts which may contain the solutions. We cannot continue to reinvent the wheel over this seemingly intractable communal crisis.
“The state governor must diffuse the suspicion and rumour making the rounds that the delay or refusal to be decisive is a strategy to promote the crisis or because the outcome of such implementation will be unfavourable to his political allies.”