Ughelli Residents Seeks Compensation From Local Vigilante Over Theft
..Sends SoS To Delta State Government
Resident of Ughelli, in Ughelli North Local Government Area, has bemoaned what they described as failure of the local Vigilantes in the area to provide security for which monthly levies are being paid.
This is coming on the heels of series of stealing, robbery as well as breaking and entry that has been the order of the day in the town.
They are calling on the state government to prohibit Street Vigilante from further collection of security levies or mandate them to pay compensation to victims of criminal attacks.
Some of the victims of the recent wave of crime in the town who spoke to newsmen recently, said despite paying various security levies ranging from the town’s Vigilante (Ughelli Bakassi) levies to Street Vigilante fees, they still fall victims to hudlums terrorising the area.
One of the recent victim whose provision shop at Onoharigho Extension was attacked and goods worth hundreds of thousands carted away and who does not want her name in print for security reasons, said the Vigilantes were just collecting money without securing anything.
She said, “they will collect Bakassi fees, they will collect Vigilante fees yet they are stealing from us everyday. My shop here is in a open place and what they moved out from the store is not something they will move within 30 minutes.
“Bags of rice, bags of beans, drinks and other items were moved but yet nobody saw them, they succeeded without any form of resistance.
“There was no way, if truly this our so-called Street Vigilante were on duty that they will not be have seen those people that looted my store.
As far as I’m concerned, the Vigilante are not doing anything. This street is a small Street that even a child can patrol to and fro within 15 minutes. They are just collecting free money and are forcing us to pay.
“Personally for me I want the state government to scrap this street Vigilante because they are not doing anything, but I know they will not because some persons, especially some top Chiefs and the palace are benefiting from it.”
Another victim whose rice store along Up Agbarho was also looted, said she was shocked to visit and see her shop empty after stocking it with goods the previous day despite paying security levies.
Meanwhile this is not the first time residents are having issue with the Vigilante outfit in the town. In October, 2019, two separate meetings were held between Street Vigilante executives, stakeholders in Ughelli and security agencies to address some of the concerns raised by residents.
The first meeting was held at the Ughelli ‘A’ Division Police Station, but has to be rescheduled as stakeholders could not agree on some of the concerns raised at the meeting as well as the lack of impute from the King of the town.
Another meeting was convaned on the 30th of October, 2019 by the Ovie of Ughelli, Wilson Oharisi III, the Ovie of Ughelli through a letter to all stakeholders to re-address the pending issues concerning Vigilante in the town.
The letter reads, “consequent upon complaints received at the Ovie Palace, HRM, Dr. Evang. W. O. Oharisi III, the Ovie of the Great Ughelli Kingdom, has invited you for an emergency meeting. The agenda is to discuss important issues affecting Civil Defence body in Ughelli.”
However, the meeting could not hold till date as the King, who called for the meeting was unavoidably absent on the day of the meeting. The news of his unavoidable absence was broken by the palace Secretary after stakeholders has waited hours for the meeting to commence.