A final year student of Accounting Department of the Novena University Ogume, Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr Nathaniel Edehwosa, has been reportedly found dead two days after he was allegedly kidnapped by suspected armed youths from Obiaruku over the lingering boundary dispute with neighbouring Amai community.
Sources told newsmen that the decomposing corpse of the student was discovered on Thursday by a joint security task force of the private university and local vigilante group in Amai who had been searching for the student after he was declared missing.
It was gathered that Nathaniel, an indigene of Eku in Ethiope East Council Area of the state, was waylaid by arms wielding Obiaruku youths who mounted road block on the Obiaruku end of the Kwale/Amai/Obiaruku road where over ten persons had been reportedly killed over the disputed land in the area.
A local source told our correspondent that the slain student was mistaken to be an indigene of Amai community which had been embroiled in boundary tussle with Obiaruku and was dragged out of a vehicle that was convening him to school.
A student of the school, who confirmed the incident, said the situation has led to apprehension among students as many had left the school to their various homes, while those remaining are afraid of stepping out of the school premises for the fear of being attacked by suspected arms youths in the area.
“Mr Nathaniel Davis Edehwosa, a bonafide indigene of Eku was dragged out of the Toyota Sienna bus at Obiaruku junction under the watchful eyes of Obiaruku indigenes. As no Amai team/gang/group/faction cannot burst into the very centre of Obiaruku at that time of the day to perpetrate such a dastardly, inhuman and heinous act. The student’s decomposing corpse was discovered on Thursday.
“As I speak many of our students are scared of the area because of the killing. Many students have gone home especially the female students and staff who are not indigenes. Everywhere looks scanty and there is curfew in the town starting from 5 pm to 8 am. We no longer go out of the school premises because the crisis. The bus driver I told you about earlier has been arrested by the police. He is an Obiaruku chief”, a one the students said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSC Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the abduction but said the command was not aware of the discovery of the decomposing corpse of the student.
However, in a follow-up statement by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, called for a cessation of hostilities by the warring communities of Amai, Eziorkpor, Obiaruku and Umuebu in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state and threatened to hold community leaders and traditional rulers responsible for the crisis.
According to the statement, “The CP called on the traditional rulers, community and youth leaders to hearken to the earnest entreaties of the Governor of the state to have all abductees, including the Novena University student, released within a week, jettison rumour-mongering and spreading of falsehood, and to encourage every measure that would bring about a lasting peace in the area.
“The CP, however, warned that henceforth traditional rulers, community and youth leaders will be held liable for any untoward happenings in their areas. While noting that security has been beefed up in the affected areas, the CP has advised the communities to go about their lawful businesses unmolested and to avoid the disputed areas until the government takes the appropriate decisions in respect of them.”