Residents of Emede community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State have raised an alarm that over 35 people are missing after last Wednesday’s bloody attack by the neighbouring Igbide community.
Igbide armed attackers had on Tuesday and Wednesday invaded Emede and killed about five persons while razing down houses and properties worth several millions of naira due to an age-long land dispute between the two communities.
In a statement signed by the chairman of Emede Progressive Union, Abuja branch, Omrys Ofo, the union condemned the attack.
The statement reads: “Emede, our community was on December 9, 2020, without provocation, attacked the armed youths of Igbide killing over seven persons with over 35 of our brothers and sisters still missing and unaccounted for.
“They also set ablaze over 50 houses and shops as well as the Emede market including, my own home, and those of my father and elder brother. They also looted properties and traders’ goods, and as a result of this attack, the Emede town was deserted. We are glad to announce that normalcy has returned to the community and we are working on rehabilitating those that are badly impacted by the attack and working on ways to wade any such future attacks.
“We have taken this length of time before making any public statement because we had to wait for the return of our delegates that visited Emede to physically assess the extent of damage and consult with the entire leadership of Emede both within the community, in the country and abroad.
“We the Emede people condemn in the strongest terms the unprovoked attacks on our people, and we are not taking lightly the killing and kidnapping of our people by the people of Igbide under the direct instructions of the leadership of Igbide, especially the abduction of over 35 indigenes of Emede that are yet to be accounted for since the day of the attack.
“And to this end, we urge the state commissioner of police to intensify efforts to arrest those behind this attack and to rescue our missing brothers and sisters, or the people of Emede may be left with no option than to take the responsibility by themselves of rescuing their kin. The young boy by the name Clinton in the now-famous video of the attack must be arrested and made to name his other accomplices.
“We want to remind the commissioner of police, Delta State command that under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, murder, arson, illegal possession of firearms, among other offences as caused in the attack, are non-bailable offences and as such the people of Emede will not accept any excuse of pressures from any quarter to release the armourers of the youths of Igbide in the person of Christopher Irivri-Ubulubu and other persons already in police custody.
“Neither will the people of Emede accept any attempt to sweep this issue under the carpet by anyone, no matter how highly placed such person or persons may be.
While we must thank and appreciate the chairman of the Isoko South Local Government Area and the security agencies, particularly the soldiers, for their response.
“We condemn the purported suspension of the President General of Emede in the person of Dr Avae by the council chairman. The people of Emede have resolved to use every available legal means to pursue the investigation of this attack and bring all those involved and their sponsors to book no matter how highly placed such individuals are.
“We have assembled a team of valuers to assess the exact amount and cost of damage caused by this attack, and we shall use all legal means to recover the same from the people of Igbide. We want to thank the good people of Oleh, Uzere, Irri, Olomoro and our other good neighbours who sheltered our people in the period of distress.” the statement said.
The union, however, called on their people to go about their legitimate business without any atom of fear or molestation while watching out for any sign of danger and promptly informing the leadership of the community in case of any.