By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
Hostility among members of koko Community Management Authority(KCMA), heightened recently in koko, the administrative headquarters of Warri North Local Government councils when some suspected political thugs attacked executive members of KCMA, destroyed properties worth several millions over the leadership of the KCMA.
The ongoing face off between youths of the community over the leadership of the community had sparked up a protest in the sleepy town of koko on Monday, when hundreds of irate youths stormed the koko Divisional Police headquarters in a commando style and attacked legally elected members of the KCMA.
The KCMA executive members led by its Secretary, one Mimi Solomon , had gone to perfect the bail conditions of two elders in the community allegedly arrested on the orders of a rival political group, said they were ambushed at the koko police station by some political rivals in the community and their thugs.
When National Trail visited the community, Solomon who said he narrowly escaped death by the whiskers and several other members of KCMA, was in critical condition following series of machete cut inflicted on him and receiving medical treatment at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital in Oghara.
He alleged that armed youths in their hundreds, led by David Onieyeburutan and Yinka Atie, assaulted them, in a bid to over throw the leadership of the KCMA.
Solomon said the youths stormed the koko police station under the watchful eyes of police officers and brutally attacked them with different weapons without any reprisal attack by the executive members.
Solomon explained that two Elders, namely Papa Richmond Atsenuwa aged 94 years and Papa Emmanuel Kpenose were detained by the police on the orders of the youths, who are determined to foment trouble in the community following the investigation of their alleged embezzlement of the community funds amounting to N567 million.
“My Camry car was destroyed beyond repair, several youths in the premises of koko police station, sustained various degrees of injuries, and others maimed but no lives were lost.” Solomon said.
According to Solomon, “We have been probing the fraudulent activities of these youths in KCMA but they want to cover their fraudulent activities by taking control of the community leadership by force. These youths are operating with the backing of some notable Itsekiri leaders and lawmaker and anybody who resist them, they come after violently.
“The elders they arrested were not supporting them. These elders backed the present executive and because the elders frowned at their illegal actions, and were obviously against them in their plot to forcefully take over the community leadership, they orchestrated their arrest.”
However, factional members of KCMA, David Onieyeburutan and Yinka Atie, were at large when newsman made frantic efforts to contact them on the alleged attack on members and financial misappropriation leveled against them.
At the time of filing this report, the detained elders were granted bail.
Meanwhile an effort to reach the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to comment on the issue was unsuccessful as he was said to be out of town in the heat of the crisis.