Delta Assault: 87-year Old Woman Still Missing As Monarch Vows To Pursue Matter To Logical Conclusion


BEVERLY HILLS, March 03, (THEWILL) – Eighty-seven years old woman, Mama Alice Omadefe, who was among the aged women who protested against PRESCO Oil Company on Wednesday, has been declared missing by Eku community in Delta state.

This came as the Paramount Ruler of Agbon Kingdom, HRM Ukori I, in Ethiope East local council area where the protest took place, vowed to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and urged the Federal Government to wade into the land dispute between Edo and Delta states so as to forestall inter-ethnic clashes.

Mama Omadefe was among hundreds of elderly women, who were manhandled and chased into the bushes by soldiers during a peaceful protest at Ovre-Eku community, where PRESCO Oil Company had allegedly acquired its site in a disputed parcel of land on the boundary of Edo and Delta state.

The women numbering over 500 women were reportedly at PRESCO Oil Company premises to demand answers from the management on how and who sold the land to them despite the fact that the land is still under dispute.

THEWILL was told that the said land currently being occupied by the oil firm has been under dispute and currently being looked into by the National Boundary Commission.

But rather than being addressed by representatives of the company, the women were allegedly flogged, booted and chased away by soldiers under the instruction of the Unit Commander, Lt. E.D Oworobo who had stationed themselves along the road leading to the site being occupied by the company, local sources told our correspondent.

“It was a sympathetic sight as the soldiers whom were drafted from 4th Brigade, Benin City, Edo State chased the women most of whom are in their 80s into adjourning bushes around the site, wiping them with tree stems while others booted the women on the buttocks as they tried to run away from the soldiers.

“At the Eku Baptist Hospital where most of the women were rushed to for medical attention, one of the women, identified as Roseline Sunday was receiving medical attention for a broken leg, while others were being treated for various wounds sustained as a result of the incident,” the source said.

“As we talk, Mama Alice Omadefe, a 87-years-old woman, who accompanied other women to the site is still missing. We haven’t see her since yesterday and everybody is seriously worried. What may have happened to her we don’t know. Imagine soldiers chasing old women during a peaceful protest, a lot of the women got injured on the process, some fell while others were hit and trampled on.”

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Agbon Kingdom, HRM Ukori I has vowed to see to the end of the matter and that justice is done, urging the Federal Government to call the military men to order and wade into the prolong boundary dispute.

While speaking during a meeting with representatives of Ovre-Eku community at his palace, the Agbon monarch, who frowned at the nonchalant attitude of personnel at the National Boundary Commission who have been handling the dispute, warned of impending communal clash as a result of the delayed demarcation of the disputed land by the commission.

“It is our knowledge that PRESCO Oil Plc is owned by one Col. Paul Ogbebor, hence the military siege on the land in question, but we have reached out to the 4th Brigade where the soldiers are from and they would follow up the matter from there,” the royal father assured.

Story by Joe Ogbodu