All women of Igbide origin married to Emede men have been ordered to return to their parents’ community while mobile phones of women of Emede origin married to Igbide men are said to have been confiscated by their husbands to avoid passage of information.
This is coming after Wednesday’s killing of five persons and razing of over twenty houses in Emede by armed youths suspected to come from Igbide, SaharaReporters has gathered.
Both communities which have faced lingering land disputes are in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
SaharaReporters learned that as at Wednesday evening, an announcement was said to have been made in Emede that all women of Igbide origin married to Emede men should leave Emede and return to their ancestral community as it was discovered that the women of Igbide origin were said to be giving out security information to their Igbide kin.
In a similar move, an indigene of Igbide, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said that mobile phones had been collected from women of Emede origin married to Igbide men so as not to be passing out what they considered as security information to their kin.
One of the security officers, who are in the area to maintain peace and order, told SaharaReporters that those who attacked Emede on Wednesday were armed mercenaries allegedly hired by Igbide.
“The bloody attack was carried out by armed mercenaries suspected to be from the Northern part of the country and the Niger Republic hired by the people of Igbide,” the source said. “Investigations so far have shown that the bloody invasion of Emede was done by these armed mercenaries using sophisticated guns and communicated in the Hausa language.
“It was also discovered that this set of hired armed mercenaries were the same persons suspected to have been used by the Igbide community to launch attacks on a community called Okpolo-Enhwe sometimes back, which resulted in the killing of several indigenes of the community over the same land dispute. In that attack by Igbide, properties were also damaged.”
According to the source, it has become a trend for Igbide to hire mercenaries to attack neighbouring communities at every slightest dispute.
As at the time of this report, a combined team of security personnel have been stationed in the area to forestall any further escalation of the crisis.
Confirming the bloody attack on Emede community, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said only 19 houses were set ablaze, and investigation by the police had commenced.