5th November, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Tension engulfed two communities in Rivers state as unknown persons, at about 1:00 a.m. today, invaded Afam-Uku community in Oyigbo Local Government area of Rivers state, killing at least one person, abducting two others and injuring many others after sporadic gunshot and machetes were used on the villagers. One church and four houses were also set ablaze in the rampage.
Eyewitnesses told PM NEWS that the attack was allegedly carried out by some persons from neighbouring Kurukuru-Tai, an Ogoni community in Tai Local Government area also of Rivers state.
The immediate reason for the early morning attack was however not clear. The two communities had enjoyed warm neighbourliness despite the crisis that engulfed the area during the Ogoni struggle against Shell and the Federal Government led by the late Ken Saro-Wiwa about two decades years ago.
David Oyegorom, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Council confirmed the early morning attack. “Some persons from neighbouring Kukukuru-Tai Community in Tai Local Government area at about 1:00 a.m. attacked Afam-Uku in Oyigbo Local Government torched a church and four houses. Some persons were wounded through machete. I have contacted my colleague in Oyigbo local government and he has also expressed serious concern over the incident. Security men have taken over the area to restore order and arrest suspected perpetrators of the attack.”
Oyegorom said that situation is receiving urgent attention from stakeholders in the area including: His Royal Majesty, King Godwin Giniwa, Gbenemene Tua Tai, Chairman Rivers State Traditional Council and President, Supreme Council of Ogoniland and the Barinada Mpigi, the member representing, Eleme, Tai Oyigbo Federal Constituency are already on the matter.
Oyegorom appealed to the people of Afam-Uku to remain calm and not embark on reprisal attack. He urged them to go about their normal businesses as there is enough security presence there already. He asked them to allow security agents to do their work.