The people of Oleh community in Isoko South council area of Delta state have been urged to sheathe their swords following last Friday’s onslaught on nine indigenes in a disputed farmland.
Condemning the gruesome killing, an elite club under the aegis of Isoko Positive Agenda (IPA), gave the call in a statement, made available on Tuesday.
The statement which was signed by the club’s chairman and public relations officer, Chief John Araka and Isaac Atikueke (Esq.), posited that the attack was launched to turn the entire Isoko nation into a war zone and truncate the peaceful coexistence among communities across Isokoland.
Oleh, the administrative headquarters of Isoko South council had been embroiled in a boundary dispute with Ozoro community, which is also the power seat of Isoko North council area.
Yet-to-be identified assailants Friday morning killed nine Oleh indigenes who had gone to work on a farmland in Oleh-Ada, said to be part of the area of dispute between both communities.
Stating that the plan of the perpetrators is to bring a set back on the economic development in the area, he appealed to the Inspector General of Police to speed up investigations in order to root out the culprits.
“We are passionately appealing to the aggrieved Oleh people not to carry out any reprisal to put to shame the perpetrators of the heinous crime whose main objective was to turn Isokoland into a battlefield.
“The heartless murderers’ calculation was to destroy the essence of the Isoko nation by turning the headquarters of the only two local councils in Isoko nation against each other.
“Thereby creating the erroneous impression to the outside world that not just Oleh and Ozoro that are at war, but Isoko North and Isoko South, merely to destroy the hard-earned reputation of Isoko as peace-loving people.
“They want to slow down the industrialisation of Isoko nation which has commendably kicked off on that Oleh/ Ozoro axis.
“All Isoko sons and daughters should, therefore, regard the barbaric murderers not just as the enemies of Oleh indigenes but that of Isoko nation as a whole.
“The IPA seriously appeals to Oleh and Ozoro to shield their swords in the overall interest of the peace and development of Isoko nation to which they serve as administrative headquarters.
“To speed up the healing process the Inspector General of Police should send crack detectives to Isoko to swiftly fish out the criminals and prosecute them expeditiously.
“The IPA deeply appreciates the commendable roles so far played by the Isoko Development Union, IDU, the traditional rulers, the religious leaders, the two council chairmen and other well-meaning Isoko opinion leaders to de-escalate the crisis.
“The agony that the gruesome killing of the Oleh eleven has unleashed on all of us should serve as a lesson for all Isoko towns and villages to strongly resolve that never again should the precious blood of an Isoko person be needlessly shed because of mere land dispute.
“To parody Ex-President Jonathan, no land, no matter how big, is worth the blood of an Isoko son or daughter,” parts of the statement read.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, had also condemned the onslaught on the farmers, calling for thorough investigations on the part of relevant authorities to bring the killers to book.