By Prosper Erere
Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare has alleged that Nigeria Army attached to the 222 battalion in Agbarha-Otor had threatened to destroyed Uwheru community if they fail to exhume and present the corpses of those killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ughelli North Local government Ares of the state.
This is just as the autopsy and investigation for the eight corpses exhumed has been halt due to financial constraints.
Delta State commissioner of Police hafiz Inuwa had said that the autopsy of the exhumed bodies must be carry out in other to find out and know the actual cause of their death.
The CP said, “For now we are investigating the matter to know what happened, how it happened, whose corpses were recovered, whether they were killed during the Fulani herder’s conflict or whether they were exhumed elsewhere and experts will have to come and give us their own advices and opinions before we give our own final conclusion.”
While lamenting the ordeal faced by indigenes of the communities, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, alleged that following the protest that ensued last week Saturday leading to the injury of the two soldiers, “their colleagues threatened to destroy our communities if we fail to produce the corpses of those killed.”
“On that Saturday when the boys were angry, they barricaded the road. That’s when the herdsmen knew that they have to call their brothers who are soldiers and they came shooting. “They shot one boy and he was taken to Uwheru main town for treatment but he died.
However, the soldiers now insisted that since their soldiers were injured, we must produce the corpses of those we claimed were dead. We told them that herdsmen have taken over the place and we cannot enter the bush. “They (soldiers) insisted that we must exhume the bodies and that if we don’t, they will destroy the communities.”
It was gathered that autopsy was being conducted on only two of the corpses owing to lack of funding contrary to claims that all the eight are undoing autopsy leading to a stalemate of the exercise. Though it is not certain if the results for the two corpses are ready as at yesterday (Wednesday), a source at the hospital mortuary who confided in our reporter, confirmed that the autopsy is being carried out on the two corpses brought in on Sunday.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press on the matter, said: “For now, we are embarking on the autopsy of only two of the corpses one of which was burnt before it was buried.
“We are yet to begin autopsy for the other four corpses which were brought in on Monday and I was made to understand that reason for the delay is because the financial requirement for the exercise are yet to be fulfilled hence, they are just lodged here pending payment.”
According to the source “The council chairman, Godwin Adode was the person that made financial provision for the autopsy of the initial two which were already paid for before the extra four corpses were brought in.”
Meanwhile, indigenes from the community revealed that they had to agree to exhumation of the corpses because soldiers from 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor whom were drafted from Bomadi to the community to maintain peace and order, had threatened to destroy their community following the melee that ensued during the protest.
Recall that two soldiers drafted to maintain peace and order in the community following the protest were shot during the protest by youths from the communities and rushed to the Bomadi General Hospital for treatment.