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Hotel, building razed as owner runs vehicle into procession

A hotel and a building belonging to a man believed to have run his vehicle into a group of women; killing one and injuring another,…

A hotel and a building belonging to a man believed to have run his vehicle into a group of women; killing one and injuring another, have been set ablaze by irate youths.

It was gathered that the incident happened last week Wednesday at Igara, the headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, when some women were on a ritual procession along the streets to cleanse the land and appease the gods.

A resident of the area who craved anonymity, said for some time now the area had been experiencing young people engaging in fraudulent acts such as 419, yahoo-yahoo, among other criminal acts.

He said, recently, the development took a different turn when some of them indulged in yahoo-plus, which led to increase in ritual activities, frightening cases of people sleeping with their mothers and children, as well as kidnapping.

 He further said the development climaxed some time in May when some ritualists cut part of the thigh of a madman while he was sleeping at the market square, which led to his death.

"The madman told the people that three people met him, two of them held him down and the third one cut his flesh," he said.

The source also said as a result of the development, the women came together that and said Igara was not known for such evil before and resolved that they wanted to do a cleansing of the community.

“The women now fixed a date to move round the streets naked and appease the gods and also place a curse on whomever that was perpetrating evil. The day they agreed on, there was announcement in the community that by 8pm, all men should stay indoors so as to allow them carry out whatever cleansing and appeasement they wanted to do," the source said.

He said on the day of the procession, a man (Onesi Obende-Okaru), popularly called Don 1, who had a hotel in the area, drove into the crowd and hit one of the women who later died.

 The man, according to the source, rather than going to the police to report the issue, quickly went back to his hotel, parked his belongings and left the town.

“Igara is divided into three: Ugbogbo, Utua and Ufa and the perpetrator hails from Ugbogbo while the deceased hails from Utua,” he said.

Daily Trust further learnt that as a result of the incident, youths from Utua and Ufa who were angered by the development mobilised to his residence at Ugbobo but discovered that he had run away, and that this further angered the youths who set his hotel on fire and destroyed his other property.

"Thereafter, the youths moved to his senior brother’s house to also destroy his building but the people there resisted, saying that the man should not be punished for his younger brother’s sin," the source further revealed. 

The source alleged that the youths were angered by is behaviour because the yahoo boys used his hotel as their abode and office.

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of the area, the Otaru of Igara, HRH Oba Adeche Saika, who expressed sadness over the incident, said normalcy had returned to the area.

The traditional ruler said the issue had been reported to the police, adding that the matter was under investigation.

He, however, called on the residents of the area to remain calm as two wrongs could not make a right.

Police spokesman in the state, Moses Nkombe, who confirmed the incident, said it was a case of hit and run.

He said the police were on the trail of the suspect and that once he was caught, he would be charged to court.

Mkombe, however, called on the people to remain peaceful as going for reprisal attack was unlawful. 

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