BusinessDay

Police averts clash between two Delta Communities over Seplat’s land

The timely intervention of a team of security personnel, led by Harrison Nwabuisi, Sapele Divisional Police Officer, has saved what could have become a bloody clash between youths of Otonyasere Community and their neighbouring Abigborodo.

There had been growing tension between the two over the ownership of a forest reserve and the land where Seplat Energy Plc office is situated at Otonyasere in Sapele Local Government Area of the Delta State.

It was further gathered that about four persons sustained severe injuries with a Toyota Corolla car and a building belonging to Otonyasere Community destroyed during the clash.

Read also: Seplat, Sahara Energy, Niger Delta, Famfa line up to acquire Shell’s $3bn assets

The disputed land is currently a subject of litigation before the court and is also being resided and farmed by residents from both communities.

The clash which resulted in a heavy gridlock also had residents of Otonyasere Community fleeing their homes as youths from both communities openly brandished dangerous weapons.

The prompt intervention of CSP Harrison Nwabuisi, the Sapele DPO, supported by men of the Nigerian Army, Koko, however, saved the situation from escalating.

A source said that Otonyasere, Abigborodo Sapele – Okpe Community laid claim to the ownership of the disputed land, adding that since 1999 when the renew dispute started, developers who got land in the area for industrial and other commercial purposes were forced to pay to both Sapele-Okpe community and Otonyasere.

The source stated further that the present crisis was triggered off when “some Abigborodo youths this morning came to the land and started digging, that they want to build a house on the land, that was when youths from Otonyasere mobilised themselves and stormed the place and that was when the clash began.”

According to the source, “the DPO with his team, however, intervened and dispersed the youths with tear gas before the crisis could escalate further. Most of the youths were seen brandishing dangerous weapons, ready for war.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.