At least, two persons reportedly sustained severe injuries from gunshots at the weekend in Afiesere community of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State over leadership tussle in the town union executive.
Daily Trust gathered that violence broke out following an alleged attempt by a splinter group to topple the incumbent executive of the town union presided over by Mr. Victor Otumemine.
The splinter group, led by Mr. Francis Onobruchere and Mr. Sunny Akponana, our correspondent further learnt, had, in the early hours of Sunday, rode in a van round Afiesere community, announcing that the Victor Otumemine-led executive’s tenure had expired and a new executive had come on board.
A community source said, while the splinter group protest was on course, certain horde of youths from the community emerged in violent resistance against the protesting splinter group led by Francis Onobruchere and Mr. Sunny Akponana. T
hey reprisal group, ostensibly mobilised by the Victor Otumemine-led executive, insisted that the tenure of the existing exco will expire in August 2020 while describing the splinter group’s agitation as being sponsored to cause crisis in the community.
It was in the mêlée which ensued that gunshots by yet unidentified persons hit an indigene, Mr. Anthony Apiloko and a commercial motorcyclist, who were rushed to an undisclosed hospital. Expatiating on the incident, the community spokesman, Mr. Precious Orichadere, said it happened at about 8am on Saturday, when certain persons from the community were seen in a van announcing around town that the present exco’s tenure was over and another had come on board.
“This was resisted by the community youths, which led to the group shooting of two persons when the group saw that they will be overpowered.
The PRO further said, “having shot the two persons and being afraid of reprisal attack, the group and its leaders escaped, leaving their vehicles behind; all these happened while the community President, Mr. Victor Otumemine, and other executive members, the community youth chairman were in Asaba for two days on invitation by the Delta State Police Commissioner.
“When the President, Mr. Otumemine was briefed on phone on the development, he quickly advised that the two persons shot be taken to hospital and should go to “B” Division Police Station, Agbarha-Otor and incident the case and also appealed l should ensure there is law and order; which l did.” However, one of the leaders of the splinter group, Mr. Francis Onobruchere, debunked the allegations of plot to overthrow the incumbent exco and Saturday shootings. He disclosed that the Victor Otumemine-led executive became restive when they were asked to give account of their stewardship, particularly, as it pertained to five missing transformers and certain monies accruing to the community. Meanwhile, the State Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, could not confirm the incident when contacted, saying the Agbarha-Otor Divisional Police had not briefed headquarters on the matter.