2 feared dead in renewed Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh communal scuffle

A new but perennial inter-ethnic bickering between the Urhobos of Aladja and Ijaws of Ogbe-Ijoh in Delta State has reportedly claimed two lives.

The killing took place in the early hours of Friday amid heavy shootings between the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities of Udu and Warri South-West local government areas over the border demarcation run by the Delta State government.

Recall that to end decades of border disputes, the Delta State government set up a commission to demarcate the border in response to a white paper report.

There have been drums of war for days by both warring communities over the commission’s demarcation procedures.

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The ogbe-Ijoh community is said to have given the Aladja community a seven-day ultimatum over a demolished building during the demarcation.

Retakes began Thursday in the wee hours after the ultimatum expired.

A source in the fighting communities told reporters in a phone call from the bush that two people had died.

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He also quickly confirmed that military personnel have taken over the disputed area to prevent further bloodshed.

He said not a single building was destroyed during the new crisis, but there have been heavy shootings as Ogbe-Ijoh fighters reportedly attempted to enter Aladja but met strong opposition.

“Because of the ultimatum, Aladja expected an attack and had to keep watch.

“At about five o’clock in the morning Ogbe-Ijoh fighters came to fire, they encountered heavy resistance.

“Two of the fighters were shot in the process before the army arrived, but no house was destroyed as they were unable to enter despite the heavy shelling. We are still in the bush now,” the source told local reporters.

It is recalled that members of the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Interest & Defensive Forum had petitioned and accused the local government chairmen of Udu and Warri South-West, Mr. Jite Brown and Mr. Taye Taiwo, respectively, of the forming an illegal border demarcation commission as well as unlawfully destroying their buildings while demarcating the demarcation lines.

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Authorities from the Delta State Police command have yet to comment on the development.

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