Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Tuesday expressed sadness over renewed hostilities between Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Okowa condemned the killings and wanton destruction of properties worth millions of naira during the hositilities and warned that government would deal decisively with perpetrators of the violence.
Recall that six people were killed, scores wounded and several houses set ablaze during a mayhem over the weekend in a renewed clash between the two communities.
Also, hundreds of people fled the communities during the mayhem.
The attack came 11 months after the leadership of the feuding communities had signed an undertaking to end their 15-month crisis over land and maintain law and order in their domains.
Okowa said the renewed hostilities were coming in spite of government’s effort at resolving the protracted land dispute.
He said: “The attention of the Delta state government has been brought to the renewed hostilities between Igbide and Okpolo-Enwhe communities in Isoko South local government area.
“Government is seriously worried by the intensity of the renewed attacks on both communities which have culminated in wanton loss of lives and property.”
The governor said it was regrettable that families were displaced and businesses destroyed.
He directed security agencies to promptly investigate the circumstances leading to the renewed clashes and ensure that the culprits were prosecuted.
He condoled with those who lost their loved ones in the violence and commiserated with the government and people of the local government area over the unfortunate incident.
He called on the two communities to remain calm and maintain the peace while investigation progressed.
He assured the people of the state that the perpetrators of the violence would be identified and brought to book.
He warned that government would not condone violent acts by any group of people as a form of redressing grievances.
According to Okowa, such unlawful pursuit of redress and despicable expression of grievances shall be firmly punished in line with extant laws.