By Jessica Tamaradonye
The annual Iwaaji (roasting of new yam) festival in Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, in Aniocha South local government of Delta State on Friday went awry as a resident was shot dead by soldiers to stormed the place.
About two others hit by bullets were said to be in critical condition in an undisclosed hospital.
The shooting was the outcome of power tussle between the Izedunor and Okonjo clans over who should occupy the seat of Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom.
In a suit decided by a High Court and Court of Appeal on the matter, Chukwuka Okonjo, father of Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was announced as the Obi but the animosity did not end as the Izedunor clan pursued the matter to the Supreme Court where both parties have been advised to maintain the status quo until judgement is delivered.
It is still not clear the reason for the disruption of Friday’s festival as persons from both sides point accusing fingers at each other, although they both agree on the point that the troops of soldiers were ordered by the Obi to quell tension.
Members of the Izedunor clan claim that they had gone to the town’s market to ensure that nobody went there on the festival day as demanded by tradition, when the Obi called in the soldiers.
However, palace sources said that youths from the Izedunor clan had tried to prevent the Obi from entering the palace to perform some rituals relating to the festival, thereby raising tension which informed the invitation of the troops.
The military is yet to confirm the incident which has already attracted condemnation from some quarters.