- Youths mobilise for reprisal killing
By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
It was shocking news for the people of a community in Delta State, Ewulu in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta North, at the weekend to hear that a female member of the community was beheaded in the forest by unknown killers,National Daily reports.
Indigenes of the community who spoke to National Daily in telephone conversations, narrated that the woman, Dumebi, had gone in search of an economic wild leaf, Afan leaf (okazi), in the bush surrounding farmlands of the community last Saturday but never returned at the end of the day. Taking census of the family members after the day’s activities, she was found to be missing as they prepared to go to bed.
The community’s able bodied men mobilized and constituted a search team the following day and combed the forest which was said to be on the other side of River Umomi which separates the dwelling place of the indigenes from northern part of the community’s farmland. Having bombarded the interior of the forest, the search team found the dead body of the woman lying helplessly on the ground on the second day of the search and rescue operations on Sunday. Her head and two breasts were found to be cut off by the killers, who escaped unnoticed before the arrival of the search team.
Ewulu community shares neighbourhood in the south with Isheagu; Olodu in the north, Ogwashi Uku in the west and Abala in the far east. The community is about 12 minutes’ drive from Ogwashi Uku, the headquarters of Aniocha South Local Government Area.
National Dailyinvestigation found that Ewulu community recently had inter-communal clash with Olodu community over land dispute, which many thought had subsided before this incident. Unfortunately, the part of the forest where the woman was beheaded was said to be located in the boundary zone with Olodu.
Further inquiry byNational Dailyrevealed that the Police has been silent on the murder of the innocent woman who went in search of means of survival in the lonely forest. The matter was said to have been reported to the Delta State Police Division, Nsukwa, in the same local government but no effective action was taken by the Police, neither have the Police commenced thorough investigation on the heinous crime that the people lament is unprecedented in the land.
Meanwhile, National Daily is still making efforts to contact the Delta State Commissioner of Police for further details on the intervention of, or if any investigation by, the Police.
National Daily further gathered that tension has been building up in the community; the youths have begun campaigning for inter-communal war over the gruesome murder of their relation.
However, preliminary examination of the circumstance of the murder of the innocent woman, tends to suggest an incident of ritual killing as her two breasts and head were taken away by the killers. But the youths are opposed to any suggestion of ritual killing, insisting on deliberate murder by an ‘enemy community’.
Further investigations revealed that indigenes of Ewulu community have not been farming in that part of the forest for a long time. They were said to have moved their shifting cultivation practice closer to the river bank and close farmlands in other parts of the town. Apparently, the perpetrators of the unprecedented crime found a ‘fertile’ quiet forest for their evil trade.
However, one of the youths in anguish, took to the social media to protest: “Just take a look at this and it happened in my own community and no one wants to take action on this. I don’t really know if we are moving forward or backward. My people, we have to take action on this; we can’t just fold our hands just like that, then, allow our enemies to go away with this, it can’t happen! Let’s join hands and fight, my people; we don too keep quiet ooooo! we go give them fight oo. “Just think if it were you, no one will take it likely in this issue… For my own community this thing happen, if nah blood, we go share blood oo, heads must roll, they must pay for this, I swear.”
The expression simply illustrates that the people are in pains, and calling for vengeance. This is the feeling after the woman had been buried according to traditional rites.
At the time of this report, the Obi-in-council and elders of the community are yet to make any formal statement on the incident. Perhaps, they are yet to recover from the shock. Several stakeholders from Ewulu community are, however, demanding urgent thorough investigations into the murder as the youths boil for war.
National Dailycontinues further investigations and sustained efforts to reach the Police Commissioner in Delta State. Detail findings will be brought to you as they unfold.