Five journalists yesterday narrowly escaped being killed by the factional youth president, Osu Ighele of Urhobo Progres Union (UPU) Mr. Ovie Oberhiri at Olomu in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The incident which occurred at the palace of the Ohworode of Olomu kigdom, took the intervention of another colleague, who quickly sighted the vehicle and draw their attention to it.
Journlists attached to, Galaxy Tv, Delta Periscope, The Pointer, Urhobo Voice and the publisher Crown Royalties Magazine were the victims of Mr. Ovie murderous attempt.
The motive behind the attempted murder by the youth president could not be ascertained, as he immediately drove out of the palace. However, observers and eyewitness said it may not be unconnected to a little argument that had ensued earlier between some set of journalists (the victim inclusive) and Oberhiri.
According to one of the journalist who was an eye witness, “What we saw today was a deliberate attempt by the youth president to kill our colleague for a reason knoen to him only. Otherwise, this is a palace and not a highway that you should say is normal to speed like that. After the incident he didn’t even stop to say sorry, he just drove out of the palace.
“From my observation, I think he was angry that the UPU President General, Moses Taiga gave us audience for an interview which he was not pleased with.
The UPU held a close door meeting with all the Kings in Urhobo nation and at the end of the meeting, we decided to speak with the President General over the outcome of the closed-door meeting only for the eye service youth president to start pushing us backward that the PG would not speak to us.
“At this point the PG stopped him and granted the interview. When the PG stopped him, his facial expression changed as one who has been shamed. I think that was what pushed him to do that.
“Although personally, I was not surprised at his action but had to thank God for my brothers and colleagues, because we would have been talking a different story by now.
“Ovie Oberhiri has always been like this, arrogant and disrespectful to the press. I’m saying this not to castigate him but from several personal encounters I have had with him.
“Sometimes in December last year, during UPU anniversary held at UPU house in Uwiamughe-Agbarho, he almost fought with journalists, just for trying to do their jobs. It was some wise elders that called him to order that day.
“For somebody whose leadership position is still under contention, to be acting this way only shows he is not yet mature enough for such position. The youths are known to be hot headed, it will take somebody with high level of tolerance and humility to lead any youth group in the Niger Delta.
“I am not a party to UPU politics but I can see clearly why the nomination or choice of Oberhiri is being opposed and rejected by majority of the Urhobo youths.”