SaharaReporters learned of “heavy gun battle” taking place on Wednesday in Uvwie Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State when armed loyalists of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa invaded the local Motor Park of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and chased away the park leadership.
It was also learned that the daylight shooting carried out by Governor Okowa's men was related to a leadership tussle in the motor park, which has been a subject of controversy since before the emergence of Mr. Okowa as Governor.
Sources told SaharaReporters said that there have been longstanding issues between the park leadership and State government.
Mr. Okowa’s men chased Incumbent NURTW Chairman Napoleon Adibu and his cabinet away from the park. Mr. Okowa's men were led by Francis Ariyor and are said to be enjoying the full backing of National Assembly Representative Ms. Oboro, representing Uvwie/Okpe/Sapele Federal Constituency.
A source told SaharaReporters that Ms. Oboro and Mr. Baro are in the midst of a vicious feud. “Oboro has accused Baro of working against her reelection and her House of Assembly candidate in the area,” the source said.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a driver who pleaded for anonymity disclosed that "following the emergence of Okowa as Governor, coupled with Oboro's growing relationship and backing of Governor Okowa, Mr. Francis Ariyor under the full escorted of policemen and thugs invaded the motor park with guns and chases away the current Mr. Adibu and others."
According to the driver, who witnessed the bloody clash, Governor Okowa’s men shot sporadically as Mr. Adibu and his men were also seen returning fire. The gun battle paralyzed social and commercial activities in the area as residents scampered for their lives.
The driver also said, “even policemen drafted to the area were helpless.”
SaharaReporters obtained a statement signed by the Secretary of the Uvwie Local Government Council, Uvwie Emete Julius, released this afternoon after the gun battle assuring residents of their safety. The statement also acknowledged Mr. Adibu as the lawful administrator of the motor park.
Delta State Police spokesperson Celestina Kalu confirmed the story when contacted and said the police had made some arrests related to the incident.