Delta: Save us from gunmen invasions, community women beg FG, Okowa

Women of Arunwhun community, a predominantly fishing community in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, have cried out to the Federal Government and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to deliver them from the hands of gunmen who regularly invade their community in the dead of the night.

The aggrieved women, who took to the streets on Sunday to protest the continued invasion of their community by gumen, said the faceless assailants usually emerge from the creeks, lurking around to dump kidnap victims.

The women protesters gathered at the Ukawa Cherubim and Seraphim Church in the community before embarking on their protest rally around the streets.

They claimed that the incessant invasions and harassments of their community by the gunmen have left many of them traumatised, fleeing into the woods and “we are finding it difficult to cope.”

It was gathered, however, that Arunwhun community and some parts of Otonyasere community have been a subject of dispute for some time, as the Okpes and Itsekiris are said to be laying claim to the territories.

The Delta State government reportedly sent a fact-finding team to the area of dispute with results still being awaited.

A woman, identified as Madam Yellow, simply quipped: “We no more go to fishing (sic) or to the bush to get firewood, they harass us daily, demanding for levies of all sort from us.”

The protesting women also alleged that the community is gradually becoming a den for kidnappers because of its proximity to the river, saying “twice they had come to drop kidnapped victims here.”

The Councillor for Ward 8 in Sapele Local Government Area, Mr Ovo Abeke, told journalists that if the government did not wade into the brewing tension swiftly, there may be chaos and anarchy soonest.

“They (protesters) came to my place here in Sapele and I tried to calm them down and I am still doing so, but how long, this is in my ward and as the councillor, I have been trying to avoid bloodshed.

“They have given an ultimatum of seven days. If the government does not wade in, I have no choice than to mobilize boys to defend our fatherland, we know those that are involved, let them stay off our land or the worst will happen,” he warned.

Abeke, who’s also a former Sapele-Okpe community youth chairman, also appealed to Governor Okowa, the Orodje of Okpe, His Royal Majesty, Major Gen F.A Mujakperuo (Rtd) CFR, Orhue 1, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom and the chairman of the local government area, Chief Eugene Inoaghan, to act fast before things degenerate.

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