There was a crossfire protests by the people of Idumuje- Ugboko community in Aniocha North Local Government area of Delta State on Wednesday and the protesters barricaded the gate to the Government House, in Asaba, the state capital. They called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene in the monarchical war and land grabbing crisis that have left the indigenes in enmity. The protesters were mainly supporters of Prince Nonso Nwoko, who has engaged Prince Ned Nwoko in a supremacy battle. But the protest assumed a dangerous twist when the rival factions of Ned arrived with counter protest and presented a different position on the matter.
While the Nonso group carried placards which read: “Okowa give our Obi Nonso staff of office,” Okowa don’t abandon Ugboko”,” We need peace in Ugboko”, “We need justice”, among others, the faction of Ned’s inscriptions read: “No staff of office for Nonso”, “We need peace in Ugboko”, “We say no to killings”, “We say no to banishment”, “No to terrorists”, “We need justice”, among others. A protester, Mrs Cecilia Udukwe, said the town had been enmeshed in crisis of various shapes for over seven years.
She said, “Since 2013, the village has been going through intimidation, killings and destruction of property, because we refused to give Prince Ned 90 hectares of land to build his Star University.
“The kingship is not rotational, it is father to son, for years we have been deprived of having staff of office and it is our tradition that the throne must not stay without king. She said men and women from the community trooped out for the protest to tell Governor Okowa to give the Obi of the kingdom his staff. She lamented that in the community, many indigenes that were arrested during the crisis have been languishing in Abuja Correctional Centre.
The spokespersons of Ned’s faction, Mr Chukwuma Nwoko, supported by Mrs Gladis Koguonye, urged the governor to resolve the crisis in the community first before presenting a staff of office to a new king.
He said, “Prince Nonso is killing us now, don’t give staff of office yet to any person until the crisis is resolved. “Nonso is causing trouble in our community and we need the university for development where our children can work” The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social and Community Development, Mrs Flora Alanta, who appreciated the peaceful conduct of the protesters, promised to take their messages to the governor. She said, “We have heard of your complaints and your demands, I will take it to the governor and soon, we will invite the parties for solution.