Alleged Edo Community Attack: Iduoriyekemwen, Ebo Amagba, Accused.
…. Houses Burnt, Six Bodies Reportedly Killed
…….Police Arrests Suspected Assailant, recovers Arm
By Lovely Ediakhe Richard
The Aborigines of Oke-Oroma Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, will in many decades live with the trauma of Thursday, February 20, 2020, a deadly attack that left several properties reportedly destroyed with lifeless bodies littering and seeking for proper burial.
The fearsome attack which left fleeing inhabitants and other neighbouring villages worried was said to have been masterminded by Hon Mathew Iduoriyekemwen, a one-time NDDC, Commissioner and his Co-traveller, Peter Erimwinose, fondly called “Ebo Amagba” who was accused of leading other thugs to the scene of action.
Evidently, since early 2005, Amagba Community has recorded a number of crisis over the years, largely due to communal land dispute alongside communities surrounding them.
Since Thursday midnight, Oke-Oroma village has been under flames. Cars and houses were set ablaze as residents flee for the safety of their lives.
The reason for this recent crisis is yet to be ascertained, but report reaching Naija Center News, says, it’s in relation to the lingering land dispute between the two villages.
The land ownership tussle was said to have started since 2017 between Amagba community and Oke-Oroma community, whilst the latter laying claim of the former.
There have been previously recorded conflicts between the two villages over land acquisitions which have left so many lose their hard-earned values
Between July 22, 2017, and 2018, Amagba was said to have laid claims over the ownership of Oke-Oroma which generated a sprawling crisis, that led to the death of one of the Village Residents, Isaac Momoh’s Wife who was murdered in cold blood with others arrested in the process.
Again in October 2017, Oke-Oromas’ who were arrested were Alleged of trumped-up charges and thrown into Oko Prisons by a mere exhibition of Political Powers without regards to existing laws.
Sometime in May 2019, another similar destructive attack was lunched as inhabitants of Oke-Oroma scampered for safety. One Peter Irhiowen Eriwinnose,(“Ebo Amagba, or Yellow Man” )
was Alleged to have masterminded the attack that shot one Osazee at the back with the intent to kill him. In that saga, few elements were arrested and later released for unknown reasons.
Time and time again, the masterminds have been accused of being shielded with impunity even when it’s glaring they committed the offence by Security Agencies and Government Authorities.
By implementation, it appears that previous Commissioners of police and other security agencies had been helpless in carrying out legitimate arrests on those found wanting
Many believe that securing the victims from the invaders who they Alleged have barricaded the entry and exit point of the community, thereby, forming another government in that axis without any form of resistance by constituted authorities is becoming very unease a pill to swallow.
This is by no means, so far from escalating into full-blown crisis as these conflicts are yet to be resolved
Soldiers have been deployed to the areas to evacuate dead bodies in their numbers to calm the residents, but from the view of things, properties worth millions have been destroyed
The now described war zone Community allegedly barricaded by unconstitutional and illegal stop and search Invaders, live eyes winking and seeking to know if the tenure of the man saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and properties have vacated the seat of power. Or better still, a parallel government had been instituted around that Axis.
However, it was gathered that, despite High Court granting an order of interlocutory injunction on December 13, 2018, from restraining Amagba and other neighbouring villages of further trespassing on Oke-Oroma Village Land, in a suit No: B/124/2018, the story hasn’t changed.
They also Alleged that bitter wars by the same people of Amgba had been fought with Evbukhu, Ugbo, Ogunmwenyin, Uhonke Villages.
According to claims by some elders of Oke-Oroma village, Amagba in the time past had acquired notoriety for its expansionist ambition. They noted that it Pursuant for wild goose chase ambition, influenced the installation of the CDA Chairmen of Obazagbon, Okhoromi, and Egbirhe Villages.
Speaking to newsmen over the recent murderous attack, the Odionwere designate, Oke-Oroma Village, Gius Idusuyi Emokpae, Says Amagba Community have always lunched a violent war of attrition against the Oromo people.
He said,” the attacks have always resulted in the pathetic loss of lives, properties, destruction of Oguedion, buildings and other precious valuables. Just last week, Six indigenes, including elders lost their lives and buildings wantonly destroyed. Unfortunately, the attacks are unending”.
He explained that the same level of attack is also being perpetrated by Obagie N’ Evbuosa who in the time past rallied round them to ward off the rampaging Amagba Village.
He pleaded with the state government and the Oba of Benin kingdom and the law enforcement agencies to rescue them from incessant attacks by the people of Amagba community.
They claimed that the killings of six people, including an octogenarian as well as several properties also destroyed, has risen the recent unrest in the community
According to some indigenous protesting victims from Oke-Oroma, who staged a protest to the Palace of the Oba of Benin and the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Edo State Council, calling for a stop to the killings of their People, said, over seven Communities jointly attacked their Community arising from a protracted land ownership tussle said to be between the two neighbouring Amagba and Oke-Oroma communities.
The protesters alleged Amagba Aborigines of killing, maiming, and destroying their belongings in a bid to occupy their age-long abode
The protesting Community who trouped to the Palace and NUJ Benin City with placards inscription calling for the intervention of the authorities claimed, they received threats from Amagba community to invade their homes prior to Thursday night when they make good their threats.
Oke-Oroma also claimed they had reported the threats to the Security Agencies prior to the incident but wonder why they never acted.
They accused, Hon Mathew Iduoriyekemwen and Peter Erimwinose, who’s fondly called “Ebo Amagba” of masterminding the series of other attacks and the recent one which left the Aborigines to flee for safety elsewhere as the Invaders took over the community.
Some fleeing inhabitants of Oke-Oroma who pleaded for anonymity for fear of being traced and attacked by the fiercely armed assailants who invaded their Community, said, attempts to seek police and military help could not yield any positive results.
They added, “the state police Command had instructed its Armoured Car but later asked for the withdrawals having received orders from a highly placed person. We went to Army for backups but a certain captain suddenly refused to go with us having promised earlier to do so. Who is really behind this we don’t know. But from the information we have gathered so far, pointed out that, the same Amagba people went and blackmail us to the state government of not supporting his second term bid in office”.
Continuing, they said, “recently, Amagba Community made fictitious and unsigned publication in Vanguard newspaper, claiming that, the disputed boundaries have been ceded to them by the Palace of the Oba of Benin which is not true”.
“As we speak now, the matter is still before the Palace of his Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II. This is not the first and second attack. They (Amagba community), want to Erase Oke-Oroma that have existed for more than a hundred and fifty years where our great grandfathers lived”.
“They have destroyed properties worth millions of Naira and killed our people for no obvious reasons. We are tired of their continuous attacks. We are pleading with Edo State Government, the Oba of Benin as well as, well-meaning Nigerians to come and rescue them from Amagba.
They also fingered one Ovie Nikogbashe, who they said came with some military men in uniform to harass their People.
Reacting to the allegations, Amagba Community leader, Joseph Iduoriyekemwen denied it, while saying that, Oke-Oroma belong to them and had never been involved in all their allegations.
His words: “We have never had any issue with them. These people enjoy violence. They have been part of us. So the recent violence going on today is perpetrated by them. Whenever we notice any form of violence we always notify security agencies for support”.
Meanwhile, varying Reports reaching us has it that fierce-looking armed youths have taken over the communities along Obazagbon-Ogheghe newly constructed interlink road which was recently visited a few days ago by the governor who promised to develop a new city in that locality.
The links road is currently manned by armed youths who conduct the movement of persons and goods along that axis till this very moment.
In a recent video posted on Social media by Mathew Iduoriyekemwen, denied having anything to do with the crisis.
He said, “my attention has been drawn to some people who say they are from Oke-Oroma. Shouting my name, “Mathew Iduoriyekemwen”. Well, it’s so sad that in such a time when people are thinking of what to do with their lives others have resorted to cheap blackmailing and sakes of land. Several petitions have been filed against me to a point that I was Alleged to have travelled to one of the Asian countries to procure arms and ammunition to overrun them. Well, I’m not a Community warrior. I want to clarify that some of the videos on Social media platforms have nothing to do with me. I have no hand in it. I have asked my lawyers to take appropriate steps because enough is enough. I know the man behind this but I don’t want anything to do with him”.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Lawa Jimeta, who confirmed the attack, said some arrests have been made while arms were recovered.
However, with the rising killings in the state, it is expected that Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki who is the chief security officer of the state will launch an immediate investigation into the shameful killings in the state, destruction of lives and property by calling on the relevant Security Agencies to secure the lives and property of victims so affected and ensure that anyone found culpable be made to face the full wrath of the law.