OSHIMILI NORTH CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS
Shooting at Polling Units in Delta Local Council Election in Akwukwu Igbo: Matter Arising
The last has definitely not been heard about the shooting at polling units in Akwukwu Igbo by dare devil political thugs welding AK 47 and led by one Chief Ikechukwu Joseph Iwegbu alias “Chayoma”, believed to be the President General of Akwukwu – Igbo Development Union (ADU) during the just concluded March 6, 2021 Local Council Election in Delta State. The centre of the theatre of the absurd was Unit 6, Ward One at Ogbe -Obi Village; and the aftermath of the shooting left three persons badly wounded with gunshots, including a female in her late fifties. It was reported that voters and residents, including old and young scampered for safety as heavy gunshots rented the air.
As we reflect on the increasing rate of insecurity and criminal activities in our communities and Nigeria in general, we the Oshimili North Concerned Stakeholders condemned in its entirety this ignominious act of political brigandage and gangsterism unleashed in Akwukwu-Igbo. As a group made up of men and women of conscience, we are saddened with the brazen disregard for sanctity of life, civility and the fear of God in the quest for political relevance and stomach infrastructure by some elements in our communities, but more worrisome the involvement of a supposed leader of a community.
It was gathered that trouble started when the political chessboard of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward One made up of Akwukwu Igbo/Atuma Iga in Oshimili North LGA, fractured with the exit of one Chief Nelson Agbamuche, the Odozi Ani of Akwukwu Igbo to All Progressive Congress (APC). It was said that Chief Agbamuche, one of the major contributors of PDP at the Ward level and Akwukwu – Igbo development; left for APC in protest of the recent undemocratic practices of PDP and the continued relegation of his person to the background during crucial party decision – making.
Our reaction, for the avoidance of doubt was actually inspired by the huge outcry that trailed the shooting and disruption of the local council election at Akwukwu Igbo by a supposed community leader and the brazenness at which these bandits carry out their nefarious activities which portend grave danger for the once peaceful community of Akwukwu – Igbo, the headquarter of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State and environs.
Acting swiftly, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Akwukwu- Igbo Police Station was reported to have picked up Chief Ikechukwu Joseph Iwegbu alias “Chayoma” and his thugs, and taken to the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, but released almost immediately.
Surprisingly, Chief Ikechukwu Iwegbu was said to have boasted of his strong connection with the power brokers in Delta State Government, and went on to recruit some men of the Nigeria Police Force to further harass the traumatized youths and members of APC in Akwukwu Igbo who had challenged him for unleashing terror on the very people he was meant to protect, as a title Chief of Onwa of Akwukwu – Igbo Kingdom and the President General of Akwukwu – Igbo Development Union (ADU). One of the harassed youths, revealed that Chief Iwegbu now sees himself as the grandmaster and a centurion of Akwukwu Igbo with an exaggerated ego as controlling the socio-political development of Akwukwu – Igbo, but posterity will judge him for all his atrocities.
An eyewitness of the shooting incident at Polling Unit 6, Ward One at Ogbe-Obi, Akwukwu told our source that the thugs were led by the ADU President General, Chief Ikechukwu Joseph Iwegbu. And one Anthony Onwuenwuzor alias “Pay” conveyed the thugs in company of Chief Iwegbu in a Nissan truck on the shooting expedition.
Some of the dare devil shooters that left many injured and traumatized were easily identified as Kelvin Anyakwu and Victor Nzediegwu a decampee of the Nigerian Army both from Akwukwu Igbo and one Ejiro among others.
It is indeed troubling that despite the unrelenting efforts of good spirited individuals, stakeholders and corporate entities both within and outside Nigeria to ensure the protection of human rights and good governance in all facets of life, some unscrupulous elements in our midst still believe in politics of violence, intimidation and criminality.
We hereby call on the relevant security agencies saddled with the responsibility of maintenance of law and order, and protection of lives and properties to properly investigate the shooting incident of March 6, 2021 at the Polling Unit 6, and 7 Ward One in Akwukwu – Igbo, Delta State and bring all the culprits to justice.
As concerned stakeholder, we ask:
1. When has it become a crime for an opposition political party to coexist with the ruling party within a community, State or Country?
2. When has it become legal for individuals to stockpile weapons?
3. Why it is that Akwukwu Igbo as a community has not issued a public statement condemning the shooting of their people by their people, either by the Royal Monarch of the town or the various Akwukwu – Igbo Development Unions or Associations?
4. Why would a community leader and a title chief stoop so low as to engage in thuggery and inflicting grievous bodily harm on Akwukwu indigenes and residents?
5. What was the outcome of the police investigation, leading to the immediate release of the arms bearing thugs by the Delta State Police Command, Asaba?
These are questions begging for answers
Unfortunately, we are left with the same situation of tyranny and cover-up which is worse than crime; but regrettably this has become the outcome of democracy in Nigeria in recent times.
In the face of all these issues, some may want to frame the crisis, as PDP and APC politics of dog eat dog; but in the real sense of it, it is about saving the town, Akwukwu Igbo from precipice, as its future is at stake. Let all Akwukwu Igbo sons and daughters know that there is nothing more dangerous than criminal silence in the face of a brewing crisis. Like our forebears would say “He who fetches ant infested firewood should get ready for the reptilian groove.
As people of good conscience, we must all rise in unison to condemn and halt unnecessary struggle for power, illicit wealth and earthly possession, including undue political influence in our communities in Oshimili North, Anioma and Delta State in general.
Dr. Chiejine Alex Chukwujindu