May 2, 2021
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Govt shuts down Ughelli market as four die over N100 levy 

Posted by News Express | 1 May 2021 | 152 times

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•Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

By SUNDAY APAH, Ughelli

At least four persons have been killed over an alleged unre­solved market tussle between Iwhreko and Ekiugbo communities in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was gathered that the four deceased, three male and a fe­male whose identity could not be ascertained as at press time, were killed over N100 develop­ment levy related issues.

It was also gathered that two of the deceased, two male were shot and their corpses dropped at the entrance to one of the communities. The woman was shot at the front of her store and later died at the hospital, while the last victim was killed at midnight on Thursday.

According to a source in one of the communities, “what hap­pened was that, there was an is­sue between both communities concerning levy collection on traders, and both sides initial­ly agreed that nobody should collect levy from any store of trader until the issues have been properly addressed.

“However, some of the boys from one of the community went ahead to start forcing the market traders to pay unap­proved levies. That was what happened. The other commu­nity now mobilised to stop them and in the process, two of the boys that were collect­ing the levy were killed. The woman that died was a victim of stray bullet.”

Another source from the other community narrated that, “we have no issues with them because the matter is be­fore the Delta State government and our traditional ruler and we have been living together peacefully.”

The source, who spoke on anonymous condition, further disclosed, “They came with two vehicles, shooting sporadically and one woman who sells plas­tics at the market was shot and with the information at our disposal, she has died from the bullets.

“The Odibo son that was killed, his father was also killed by same people and till date the corpse has not been found and they have come again to kill his son.”

Efforts to speak with presi­dents general of both commu­nities was not successful but when the journalists visited one of the communities, the corpses of the two men were seen being dropped at road junction.

Meanwhile the Executive Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Chief Godwin Adode has ordered the total closure of the Ughelli main market till further notice.

A source in the council who does not want his name in print because he was not authorised to speak, said, “the chairman has just concluded meeting with security operatives and have directed them to clear the market. He also ordered that the market be closed till further notice.”

Meanwhile, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) World­wide has called on the two communities of Ekiugbo and Iwhreko in Ughelli Kingdom to sheathe their swords for peace to reign and allow constitution­al and traditional authorities look into their grievances, with a view to bringing a permanent solution to the lingering crisis over the ownership and control of the Ughelli Main Market.

In a statement by Abel Oshe­vire, National Publicity Secre­tary, the group noted that: “Our President-General, Worldwide, Olorogun Dr. Moses Taiga, JP, is very worried and unhappy at the renewed hostilities between the two sister communities and appeals to them for calm. The aggrieved parties should lay down their weapons and allow the relevant arms of govern­ment, traditional leaders and other stakeholders intervene in the matter. Communities can only enjoy economic growth and prosperity in an atmo­sphere of peace. With economic prosperity comes development, with positive and lasting spiral effect on both communities.

“As Urhobo people, we share common ancestry and blood links. Our tradition and cul­ture, importantly the laws of the country, forbid the shedding of blood and destruction of properties. No piece of land or property is worthy of any form of blood shedding or destruc­tion, especially by children of common blood and ancestry.” (Saturday Independent)


Source: News Express


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