Idumuje-Ugboko: Victims of 2017 Violence Crying Out for Justice, Says Nwabufo

Idumuje-Ugboko: Victims of 2017 Violence Crying Out for Justice, Says Nwabufo

  • Fredrick Nwabufo, a journalist has revealed that the victims of the 2017 violence in Idumuje-Ugboko are still crying out for justice
  • Nwabufo said he travelled to the town in Aniocha North local government area of Delta state to see things for himself
  • He said the rumours that the crisis in the area was caused by a politician, Prince Ned Nwoko are false

FCT, Abuja - Fredrick Nwabufo, a writer and journalist, has revealed that the victims of the 2017 violence in Idumuje-Ugboko, a town in Aniocha North local government area of Delta state are still crying out for justice.

Idumuje-Ugboko is a town in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state.

Ned Nwoko
Nwabufo said the rumours linking Ned Nwoko to the crisis are completely false. Photo credit: Ned Nwoko Foundation
Source: Facebook

Nwabufo said:

“The town was assaulted on May 25, 2017, in the dead of night by a group of violent men who unleashed destruction and death on the elders and members of the community.

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“By the time the hoodlums were done, they left tears, sorrow, and blood.”

He added that owing to the mayhem of May 2017 in the area, some alleged prime actors, arsonists, and assailants were arrested by the police and charged to court on the order of Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

According to him, they were charged with terrorism and murder by the federal government – not over a land dispute.

He said among those arrested, according to court records, were Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko, who is contending for the throne of Idumuje-Ugboko; Okey Ifejoku, and about 25 alleged assailants.

Nwabufo noted:

“The acquisition of the 90 hectares of land in Idumuje-Ugboko by Prince Nwoko has been an immutable subject of controversy. But the palace and the local authorities all say Prince Nwoko followed due process to acquire the property.

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“Essentially, the crisis in Idumuje-Ugboko is more of contention over kingship than a variance over land. Prince Nwoko is said to be backing Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwoko, the current Obi-designate, for the throne of the town.
“Obi Solomon is said to be favoured for the throne by all the three principal tiers of selectors - the Umu-Nwoko Royal family, the kingmakers, and the Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Council. However, Prince Chukwunonso is making claim to the throne without relent.
“This squabble over kingship snowballed into velitations over land – which naturally is not connected to the remote and the immediate cause of the current disputation.
“Kingship feud is the core of the Idumuje-Ugboko unease, and the noise over land is to get back at Ned Nwoko who is openly supporting one candidate for the stool over another.”

The writer said he took a trip to Idumuje-Ugboko and quoted verbatim what the people told him.

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Peter Mbama (head of the vigilance committee):

“The whole mayhem started in my place. I was the first victim. The beating… they dragged me through the community in my sleeping garment. They visited all the vigilantes, collected our working tools with them. In that process, I was taken around the community naked. My place was looted. The house was vandalised. Every reasonable thing in the house was removed.’’

Chief Christopher Chukwuka Ogwu, Iyase of Idumeje-Ugboko (the traditional prime minister of the kingdom):

“Nobody expected it. Nobody worked for it. I was just in my house one morning. I had been to a neighbouring town bought a newspaper and I was just reading in front of my house when suddenly some youths just stormed into my house and the next thing I knew, they were accusing me of supporting Prince Ned Nwoko.’’

Gladys Koguonye (Woman leader, Idumuje-Ugboko):

“It is the saddest day in the history of Ugboko. It has never been heard or done before that your own blood brothers will come and demolish your house. My house was demolished. I have five windows and three doors. They were demolished and they stole from me too. Why they did all these things, nobody was able to say.

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“They just came to destroy because we are asking for development in our community. That our own brother, the son of the soil. Our brother which is Prince Ned Nwoko wants to bring investment into the community to reduce hardship and people will make money, farming, and other things.’’

Okereke Ginawa (member of the vigilante group and provost of the Iyase in council)

“I want to start as far back as when I was attacked on the road around 8 pm in the night, that was in 2017. That was when I got all these wounds, you can see I don't have teeth anymore. They attacked me at night and remove my teeth from beating.’’

Chief Bennet Okoh (member of land allocation committee and member of Obi-in-council):

“May 2017, they visited me at about 2 am warning me to stay out and that they are coming back again. They started breaking bottles at my doorsteps. Some of my louvres were broken at my boys’ quarters. What they said was that I signed land for Ned to build a university which is very normal for me as a retired school head.

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“I won't see anything that has to do with something good and say no. That is why I signed for it. I was a member of the committee that was asked to go and check the land. We surveyed it and discovered that we have enough land for the university then we signed for it. That was why I was attacked.’’

Aniocha killings: FG amends charges against 7 alleged terrorists

Legit.ng had in October 2020 reported that the federal government filed a three-count amended criminal charge levelled against seven people alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko community.

The initial charge had involved three persons but following a bench warrant issued by the Federal High Court in Abuja, four additional defendants were arrested and included in the charge.

According to the charge sheet, their actions which include the burning of houses and destruction of property led to the killing of one Cyprian Kumaorun within the community.

Source: Legit.ng

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