According to Sahara Reporters A heavily armed killer squad allegedly operating at the behest of Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary education, Patrick Muoboghare, unleashed terror early hours of Sunday on the Uwheru community in Ughelli North local government area.
Several members of the community told SaharaReporters that the armed thugs had killed one George Imiti in an earlier attack on October 2.
In last Sunday’s attack, the thugs reportedly destroyed at least 12 houses, several cars and other property valued at millions of naira. Our sources said the armed thugs targeted community members perceived to be supporters of Clement Osieta, the town’s former President General and a political foe of Mr. Muoboghare. Mr. Osieta, who has taken refuge in Abuja, said the killer squad was sent to assassinate him, but went on a rampage when they could not locate their main target.
SaharaReporters learnt that many residents and indigenes had deserted the once peaceful Urhobo community following the bloody attacks.
Until last week, Mr. Osieta was the senior special assistant to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on community relations. Several sources said he and Mr. Muoboghare had been locked in a political battle over the leadership of Uwheru clan. A community leader accused the commissioner of using official apparatus, including soldiers, to intimidate and harass Mr. Osieta and his associates.
SaharaReporters had reported that youths belonging to the PDP had beaten and stabbed Mr. Muoboghare on September 7, 2013 as he tried to doctor the Uwheru ward executive list of the PDP at the party secretariat at Ughelli.
Speaking from police headquarters, Abuja where he took refuge, Mr. Osieta alleged that there had been several attempts to assassinate him. He accused the commissioner of perpetrating a series of illegal acts in the community.
“The killer squad of Professor Patrick Muoboghare has gone to acquire guns and bullets [in order] to attack all my political associates at night,” he said, adding that the squad had a list of persons they would take as hostages. In addition, he said the squad had instructions to burn his house and that of the PDP chairman in the community. “As we talk [the local PDP chairman’s] car has already been destroyed. Professor
Muoboghare has used his killer squad to destroy over 12 houses and property worth over N40 million. He told his hoodlums to do whatever they like because he owns the Delta State government.”
Both Mr. Osieta and other sources in the community stated Mr. Muoboghare’s armed thugs were led by one Macpherson Igbedi. “Once they arrived in Uwheru, they shot sporadically. They destroyed houses and vehicles and also looted shops.”
Mr. Osieta claimed that Mr. George Imiti died from severe injuries he had sustained at the hands of Mr. Muoboghare’s armed thugs.
Among those whose properties were destroyed in the weekend attack is Mr. Pioneer Ogagamuero, the PDP chairman in Uwheru. A source said his house and Toyota Corolla car were burnt.
A community leader said he and others knew some of those who carried out Sunday’s attacks. They included Igho Aragba, Jeo Erekata, Gabriel Umukoro, Godspower Ojomi, Monday Owhosiri, Oghenekaro Umukoro, Gabriel Okoribo, Benjamin Owhoreko, James Omovwe, Daniel Muoboghare, Edward Eyamu, Emijevwe Ikpepu, and Mitayire Aragba. He said four other men wearing police bulletproof were part of the attackers.
The source alleged that the meetings to plan the widespread destruction took place at the Warri residence of Uwheru caretaker chairman, Colonel Douglas Ushure (rtd) who was also accused of promised to support Mr. Muoboghare with arms and ammunition.
Reacting to a text message, Mr. Muoboghare neither debunked nor admitted the allegations. “I am sure you are aware of my situation right now. I am still recovering from what you know happened to me. The young man [Mr. Osieta] is wanted by the police. Has he shown up?”