Why insecurity pervades Oghara
By Victor Igherighe
It is pathetic to recall that Oghara, headquarters of Ethiope West LGA of Delta State, has been under the siege of kidnappers, armed robbers and perpetrators of other social vices whose activities in recent times have not only forced residents to sleep with one eye opened but also sent others to their early graves while many others were inflicted with various degrees of injuries.
It started with the Fulani herdsmen who were said to have beaten up the Oghara women and sometimes inflicted wounds on them just as a few others reportedly lost their lives for daring to challenge the herdsmen who used their cattle to destroyed their crops and farm land in the name grazing. But soon after Fulani herdsmen activities became a thing of the past, the situation proceeded to youth’s unrest, robbery and the most worrisome kidnapping.
It was gathered that the rate at which these kidnappers have been operating reportedly forced the medical doctors at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, to embark on indefinite strike in recent past because at a time, they became the target of the
kidnappers. The situation became so worrisome that companies operating in the area were left with no other option than to relocate from Oghara before losing them to notorious insecurity.
As if seriously perturbed over the menace of the insecurity, the traditional council, headed by HRM Uku-Oghara-Na-Me, Orefe III, took the bull by the horn and summoned a meeting of security chiefs in Oghara, with a view to nipping the situation in the bud and today, these efforts have started to yield positive result because, some security personnel were reportedly deployed to Oghara recently to carry out security surveillance just as more police men have also been deployed to the area to augment the number on ground that were said to be mainly women.
Unfortunately, in spite of the concerted efforts so far, these kidnappers have not only remained undaunted but also stepped up activities lately as there is hardly a week now without the news of kidnapping in Oghara.
At a time, the current Uzzi of Oghara kingdom was said to be the target but fortunately, he narrowly escaped the dastardly act of these abductors. Few weeks ago, there were twin incidents of kidnapping in Oghara with one reportedly averted following the swift intervention by security agencies.
However, investigations carried out so far have revealed that the recent upsurge of insecurity in Oghara, is not unconnected to the rift that transpired amongst the community Chiefs and elders after the exit of the former monarch, a situation the youths reportedly capitalized on, to take over the leadership of the kingdom. Since then, the youths were said to be drastically resisting any attempt to take power back from them.
They became so autocratic in their actions and decisions, and were dictating the affairs of the Oghara kingdom to the elders, as well as compelled companies operating in the area to pay illegal money under the guise of compensations. This has been the status-quo until HRM, Uku-Oghara-Na-Me, Orefe III, succeeded the throne. Yet, the youths were said to remain adamant as they were not ready to respect the position of the monarch and allow him to exercise highest authority in the land, a situation that degenerated into crisis and by intervention, the Uduaghan led government pronounced ban on their activities.
From the foregoing, it could be deduced that this set of disgruntled Oghara youths might have resorted to perpetration of crimes directly or indirectly in the area deliberately to frustrate the monarch. As if to justify this position, the Oghara youths were said to have petitioned their monarch recently alleging that he, the monarch, was always out of the kingdom.
As if that was not enough, the monarch who refuted this allegation lamented that the Oghara youths have also declined to sign the document containing the guidelines that would guide their activities henceforth, as directed by former Governor Uduaghan as part of the conditions for lifting the ban his government earlier pronounced on youths activities in Oghara, and rather presented their terms of operations which the monarch vowed never to accept stressing that a child does not divide fish for his father after meal.
However, if the insinuation above is really the case, then, it is high time the Oghara youths allowed the sleeping dog to lie, and embrace peace and work harmoniously with the elders and the traditional council headed by the monarch rather than threatening the peace and security of the land.
More so, the Delta State government should not undermined this development but should wade into the matter and resolve it once and for all particularly, as it concerns security of lives and properties which is a priority to any government. A stitch in time saves nine.