26/01/2022

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Leadership Tussle: Ekakpamre community cries out over alleged intimidation, harassment by govt agents

4 min read

The people of Ekakpamre community, in Delta state has accused some perceived agents of the state government, of complicity in the harassment and indiscriminate arrest of the people of the community.

The community had in a petition, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, Idris Muhammed, and all relevant authorities to save them from what they alleged as “unceasing torment” in the hands of the agents of the state government.

They claimed that the state agents are plotting to impose their acolyte, one Chief Aladey Nuwanwan as the next President-General of the community’s Union, visiting violence on the community, and have resorted to harassment, intimidation and indiscriminate arrest of persons who are resisting them to achieve their nefarious plots.

The petition added that this violent group has labeled those who oppose their plots as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking with Journalists in Benin on Monday, the outgoing President-General, Chief Mukoro Abraham, alleged that the Special Assistant to the Governor on Protocol, Simon Umudi a.k.a. Temple, is the arrow head of this group that has been causing confusion in the community.

He added that, these are to serve as prelude to crushing their perceived opponents in order to skew the 2019 general elections in their favour.

According to him, the Ekakpamre community constitution stipulates two-year tenure for the executive and that the Annual General Conference holds every December, during which a new executive is usually elected.

He however, said that the activities of the violent group have prevented a peaceful transition process.

His words; “The Ughelli South Local Government Council authority, falsified the original list of delegates to the election in favour of his cronies, which triggered massive protest by the people and the eventual cancellation of the election by the Head, Personnel Management of the council and security operatives,” Mukoro alleged.

He added that, on Saturday 10 February, 2018, the day that was initially fixed for the election, Umudi led suspected cultists to invade Ekakpamre town with dangerous arms after which a team of State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives stormed the community to carry out indiscriminate arrest of opponents and their associates.

He alleged that, after about two hours, Simon Umudi came with a Hilux van full of SARS operatives, who were shooting sporadically into the air and scaring the whole community, while they descended on the youths.

The youths however, fought back in self defense.

He mentioned one Dr. Richard Koffi, the Chairman, Ughelli South Local Government Council Area, as one of the accomplices of Umudi.

He also claimed that no less than 14 persons have been arrested and detained on orders of the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command for no visible crime.

In another claim, Chief Abraham said, the community has been thrown into chaos, with many residents fleeing into different communities to seek refuge, for fear of their lives.

He further claimed that his life and those of the other members of his executives, are not safe under the prevailing circumstance, as the Umudi-led group, has vowed to crush them, to pave way for the actualization of their planned imposition of one Aladey Nuwanwan, as the next President-General of Ekakpamre community for a second term.

In the petition written on his behalf, to the Delta State Police Commissioner, which was copied to the Inspector General of Police, A.I.G Zone 5 Benin City, and the Chairman of the  Police Service Commission, Abuja; which was signed by his Solicitors, Douglas Ogbankwe, and Efe Eromosele, copies of which were made available to journalists in Benin on Monday, it was stated that “The culprits (Umudi led group) are desperate to install a kangaroo executive in Ekakpamre community to cover their tracks after being unable to account for millions of naira embezzled from the common wealth of the people.

“The persons in custody of Delta SARS, are major community political players on one side of the divide in the crisis raging in the community; while those that are the real assailants are walking scot free even in the face of compelling evidence against them.”

The petition went further that; “Chief Michael Akponokan, Chief Mathew Ofioguma, Chief Aladey Nuwanwan, Shedrack Orhokpocha, Gens Dekpe, Kingsley Osiobe, Prosper Igben, Bright Oforishe, and others are the group causing mayhem to settle political scores in the community.”

It called on the IGP, Federal Government and other relevant authorities to quickly intervene in the matter, to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the community, as well as ensure that justice prevails.

However, in a telephone interview with Umudi, he denied all the allegations saying that what is happening in Ekakpamre, is purely a community affair and not in any way connected with APC and PDP as political parties.

He said that on the day of the botched election, he was only at the venue as an observer, when one Chief Newman Ighedo and the out-going President, Chief Mukoro brought hired thugs, to attack their perceived opponents and in the process, machete cuts was inflicted on his head, and that he now has 32 stitches to show for it.

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