JUST IN: Soldiers invade Okere-Warri, shot two, injures dozens 

No fewer than two persons were shot on Saturday at Okere Community in Warri Metropolis of Delta State.

It was gathered the victims were shot by security operatives believed to be soldiers from the 3 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Effurun Barrack.

The first victim was identified as Macaulay Uku and the second simply identified as Eguono, was shot around midday during the visit to the area by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.

Uku, according to various sources, was shot early in the afternoon while Eguono was shot hours later.

The Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Major A. Ohegbe, who was contacted by The Nation, said he was not aware of any shooting but confirmed the heavy presence of security personnel during the visit.

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He hinted that the fracas was sparked off by resistance to the monarch’s visit by a section of the indigenes of Okere community, which is the home of Chief Ayiri Emami.

Recall that a section of the Okere community sided with Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri, whose alleged removal is the subject of an ongoing litigation.

“Those who are loyal to the Ayiri essentially are opposed to the monarch and this has resulted in the polarisation of Okere,” a source in the area said.

Supporters of the monarch however said that there was no opposition to the monarch in Okere, stressing, “He is the Olu of all Itsekiri people”.

Our source further added that the people of the area were incensed by an attempt by the monarch to sprinkle anointing oil at the sacred ground of the Okere shrine.

It was gathered that two of the victims of Saturday’s shooting were those loyal to Chief Emami, leading to insinuation that the soldiers were brought in to suppress opposers of the monarch’s visit.

Tension has gripped the community as supporters on the opposing sides trade words on social media and on the streets on the next line of action.

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