Ika North-East Council Secretariat Torched

Ika North East Local Government Council headquarters at Owa Oyibu, Delta State has been torched following a bloody mayhem which erupted there last Friday.

The violence, Vanguard learnt, was believed to have been masterminded by a group of councillors said to be on collision course with the council chairman, Mr. Smart Buzugbe, whom they (warring councillors) accused of marginalising them.

Two councillors in the council were said to have been suspended recently over undisclosed offences.

Some local government council chairmen in Delta state are presently locked in a face-off with their councillors.

Most of these cases of friction between the council chairmen and the councillors had led to the formation of parallel legislative arms leading to the intervention of the State House of Assembly. Cases in point are Uvwie, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West local government councils.

Only last Thursday, the state House of Assembly summoned the chairman of Ndokwa East council, Mrs. Mary Chidi "to explain why she disregarded the House directive not to harass council staff/elected councillors with soldiers, and why the agreement reached with her, the state PDP and the party leaders from the LGA as a settlement for the two Houses inaugurated in the council has been disregarded."

Over fifty thugs suspected to have been hired by the aggrieved councillors stormed the council headquarters with dangerous weapons and succeeded in sacking the entire work force. Few of the staff who summoned courage to confront the menacing thugs got the beating of their lives and were wounded in the process.

Unspecified amount of money was also said to have been looted from the council’s coffers, while a new set of furniture acquired for the legislative chambers of the council got burnt in the process. Other sections of the councils were also vandalised and it took the efforts by onlookers to prevent the fire from razing the entire seretariat building.

Commenting on the violence, a political chieftain regarded as a political god father from the local government, Chief Humphrey Iwerebor blamed the council chairman for allegedly sidelining the PDP party elders in resolving some knotty issues affecting the area. Attempts to reach the chairman were unsuccessful as at the time of this report.

Contacted, the state police command’s spokesman, Mr. Okoye confirmed the incident but told Vanguard on phone that "I don’t have the details now, maybe by Monday (today) when we (police headquarters) get the signals from there."

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