The Urhobo Progressive Union, UPU, today said soldiers allegedly shot dead eight Aladja indigenes in Delta State in the renewed communal clash with neighbouring Ogbe-Ijoh community.
Olorogun Moses Taiga, UPU’s President General, disclosed this in a statement signed and made available.
Taiga said the soldiers were unacceptably partisan as they neglected their professional and law enforcement duties during the renewed hostilities by firing shots at hapless residents of Aladja, killing many yesterday.
Taiga called on Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to show political and moral will by resolving the lingering dispute between the two communities and also on the Federal Government and the military authorities to probe the allegations of partisanship on the part of soldiers drafted to quash renewed hostilities between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities.
Taiga in his statement said, “Investigate allegations that soldiers were grossly partisan and neglected their professional and law-keeping duties in this recent incidence by firing shots at helpless residents of Aladja, killing many.”
“This dispute has lingered for too long and has taken much blood, lives and property and I call on the State Government led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to show the political will by looking at the reports of the various committees set up on the dispute and carry out their recommendations fearlessly.
“For how long are we going to allow the desecration of peace and the disregard for the sanctity of human lives in these two communities because of other considerations not favourable to truth, justice, equity and peaceful co-existence? Governor Ifeanyi Okowa should etch his name into the golden books of history by resolving this crisis permanently by upholding the tenets of truth and justice, no matter whose ox is gored.”
Taiga also condemned in strong terms on the allegations that certain highly positioned individuals are fostering the crisis, submitting that “such persons, if this is true, should search their consciences and be warned that history and the Creator will be unkind to them for any role they play in the wanton killings, blood shedding and destruction.
In a separate conversation with the Aladja community, the Nigerian Army 3 Battalion in Effurun were accused of of allegedly killing nine of its indigenes as the renewed war with Ogbe-Ijoh community rages on.