Indigenes of Oleh community, headquarters of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, on Thursday, barricaded all entry points into the community, protesting against the killing of 12 residents by unknown gunmen.
The 12 indigenes were gruesomely murdered on October 12, 2020 on farmland in Oleh by gunmen suspected to be from Ozoro community.
The two Isoko communities have been at loggerheads for some time following a lingering boundary dispute that has defied all efforts employed to resolve the issue.
It was gathered that the victims are to be buried on Thursday (today) in the community, evoking anger and leading to the protest by mostly women and youths.
The protesters called on the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa to fulfil his promise to bring all those involved in the murder to justice.
The protest which started around 7:00 am caused serious gridlock along the busy Ughelli-Asaba-Ozoro Road, leaving motorists and commuters stranded and some forced to take alternative routes.
Some of the protesters who spoke with newsmen called for a thorough investigation into the murder, adding that some leaders of Ozoro community have many questions to answer.
The protesters accused the people of Ozoro of crimes against humanity but described the people of Oleh as peace-loving.
They said, “Amidst all provocative actions of the Ozoro people, Oleh had always sought peace”.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Inspector-General of Police, the state police commissioner and Director-General of the State Security Service (aka Department of State Services), to intensify efforts in fishing out those behind the killing and bring them to justice to serve as a deterrent to others.
The people of Ozoro community through its former President General, Nicholas Areh had denied the involvement of the community in the killing, noting that Oleh natives were only fanning the embers of war with the way and manner they were going about the issue.
He said the farm in Oleh where the people were gruesomely murdered by unidentified persons was not in dispute.
As of the time of filing this report, all shops, markets, banks, and social activities had been shot down in Oleh community while economic and official activities at Ozoro community were operating skeletally.