The people of Otulu in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State have appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to rescue them from alleged oppression by the neighbouring communities of Ugwashi, Ubulu, Issele-Nkpetimi and Issele-Asakpa.
In a protest to the Government House, Asaba, the people who complained about a lack of development in the agrarian community, said even their independent efforts to attract electricity had been stymied.
Bearing placards with various inscriptions, the protesters appealed to the state government to grant the community an autonomous status and properly demarcate the boundaries so that the neighbouring communities can be restricted from trespassing into their farmlands.
According to Christopher Isikekpe, ‘our neighbouring communities come for revenue, they sell our lands without any dividends. At the moment, there is no road, no electricity for over seven years, no water, no market. We have been crying but to no avail.
‘Other communities decided to give us a leader and all the leaders are people embezzling things in our community without assisting us. That is why we have cried to the government to give us freedom. We need autonomy so that our people can be managing our affairs,’ the community leader said.
Also speaking, the youth president of Otulu, Francis Oduwanor, alleged that in 2016, three of their sons were killed by oppressors from Issele
Oduwanor further alleged thugs from Ugwashi came to stop their self help electricity project which was being done in conjunction with a private entity.
‘Issele and Ubulu came to say the land belong to them but they later retreated. But Ugwashi came with thugs to demolish what we were doing. We felt so bad. This is unbearable.
‘We are appealing to both the state and federal governments, we need serious assistance and attention. Otulu is ward 01 in Aniocha South,’ he said.
Presenting the community’s protest letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Oduwanor appealed for urgent attention to avoid inter-communal crisis, even as he insisted that Otulu is a peace-loving community.
Receiving the letter, the governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Festus Agas, commended the protesters for their peaceful disposition.
He advised them to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their own hands, assuring that government would find an amicable solution to the issue.