By Ovie Okpare
There is heavy tension in Oviri-Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State over leadership crisis in the community.
It was gathered that no fewer than 25 persons have sustained gunshot injuries since the crisis began on Monday.
It was learnt that the leadership tussle which is already before a law court was said to have degenerated between the two parties claiming leadership control in the oil-rich community following arrest of some indigenes on Monday morning.
Sources in the community told NIGER DELTA TODAY (NDT) Online that about 12 persons including a woman identified as Mrs Ojite Ator were shot on Thursday morning following renewed clash between both factions.
It was gathered that nine persons were shot on Tuesday night while six were also shot on Wednesday. No death has been recorded but the victims were said to be receiving treatment in different hospitals.
Our sources claimed many residents have already fled the community for safety.
The crisis was said to have worsened following recent discovery of high deposit of commercial crude oil in the community as both factions battle to negotiate royalty on behalf of the community with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
It was said that NPDC has commenced exploration activity in the community with the construction of flow station and camps.
It was gathered that one Mr Sunday Okreghe and Mr John Ewenede are laying claims to the President-General position of the community despite a court order directing both parties to maintain status quo pending determination of the suit.
Our sources who craved anonymity for safety of their lives said the primary and secondary schools have been shut since on Monday owing to the sporadic gunshots in the community.
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They lamented that since the crisis began police and other security agencies in the state had not been deployed to the community to douse the tension in the now-troubled oil-rich community.
It was also further learnt that the leadership crisis has also been politicised into a fight between APC and PDP leaders in the community.
When contacted, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, said he was not aware of the development.
He, however, promised to investigate the incident and call back with details. He was yet to call back at the time of filing this report.