The Town Union president of Ukwagba community, Odanwu Joseph, is now battling for his life following attack unleashed on him by angry youths of the community on Thursday, Sept 26, 2019.
He was attacked while running away after the meeting between the local government chairman of Ohaukwu local government area Barr. Clement Odah and other government officials with Ukwuagba people.
As soon one of the traditional rulers of the area was giving vote of thanks, the Town President who was seriously spoken bad of by both youths, women and elders of the community at the meeting mounted a motorcycle and zoomed off.
The angry youths on seeing that he had left, mounted different motorcycles and gave him a hot chase.
Luck ran out on him at Ideokpo New market in Okposhi community, where the youths numbering over 20, caught up with him and beat him to a pulp.
Some of the youths left him after badly hitting him on his head, thinking he was dead, while others were still beating him to ensure he was really dead.
But fortunately for him, the policemen that went for the same meeting got to the scene of attack while he was still breathing. They carried the Town Union President into their Hilux van and sped off after shooting sporadically in the air to scare the youths away.
He was rushed to an undisclosed hospital where he was fighting for his life at the time of filing this report
The chairman of the local government and other government officials had visited the community to dialogue with them and to assure them of government readiness to restore peace in the area.
Speaking at Ominde Okposhiri village square, Odah announced the setting up a 7-man Special Panel of inquiry headed by Prof. Henry Adagba, to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis and submit their recommendations within the next 7days.
He reiterated that the stakeholders of the community have failed them and the government, adding that anyone indicted by the panel will face the full wrath of the law no matter his position in the state.
” Those you supported to be in government had opportunity to help you, lead you aright and unite you, but instead of that, they are fighting among themselves. Government has decided to make things right. “The problem of this community must be solved once and for all. We had given the leaders chance to make peace but they failed and government has stepped in.
“All we want is justice, leaders of other communities have made peace in their different communities, but your leaders have neglected their duties. We have given the panel 7days to submit its report and any recommendation must be carried out. Your problem will be over in 7days time”, he stated.
On his part, the commissioner for Solid Minerals, Hon. Jonah Igba, told the people that some leaders of the community and the officials of Master Rock company came to his office where they agreed on what the company should give to the communities, and the state government.
He pleaded with the youths not to stop the company from extracting stones which is their work there, stressing there is no need to barricade the company with palm fronds.
Igba urged them to remain calm and support the panel, adding that if they continue fighting each other that the dividends of democracy will elude them in this present administration.
On his part, the secretary of the panel, Prince Uche Aliega, assured the people that the panel will carry out it’s duties without fear or favor.
While appealing to the people to sheath their sword and have confidence in the panel, adding ” government means business, which is to bring lasting peace and justice in the community. Support us to do good job”.
He noted that there will be complaint boxes placed in strategic places in the community where complaints would be dropped.
Adding that there will be phone numbers also through which they can either send SMS or Whatsapp messages.
All those who spoke at the meeting accused the Town Union President of being the cause of the crisis in the area.
They were more angry when they heard that Odanwu wrote a petition against the community, claiming that it was the community members that were killing themselves.
They lamented that their representatives are not doing the right thing, asking for a new leadership.