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Violent Ibusa desires urgent attention to stay in peace.

Unless adequate security measures are taken on Ibusa, the once peaceful community may slip into uncontrollable violent state, such that a lot more may be necessary to tackle it. Security agents in Delta State , location of the community need to double efforts to maintain tranquility in the semi-urban community. The Anioma town now breeds thousands of youths ready to take up arms against one another in what some elders of the town have described as crime at will. Several types of cultism can now be commonly traced to the youths of the town where it has become unsafe to move in the night. Violent clashes between youths have also been recorded in the town in recent times. Ibusa youths are more than ever willing to join cultic societies of all sorts.

About 88% of youths in the town are unemployed coupled with the explosive population of the town. The population of the community may now be estimated at close to 600,000 with youths comprising about 32% of the community’s total population. About 29% of the said inhabitants are foreigners, with greater percentage of these foreigners being Igbo of the South-East. Other non-natives are Ukwani, Ewulu, Ogwashi-Uku, Ika, Urhobo, Isoko, Edo , Ibibio, Ukwu-Oba and Hausa/Fulani. The population explosion of the town is not unanticipated as the neighbourhood is located quite close to Asaba, the state capital and fast transforming from a semi-urban to an urban society.

There are quite a number of indigenes who blame the violence on the teeming population of non-natives residing in the community. They claim that the instruments of violence were imported into the town by non-natives who troop into the town for settlement. They further attribute it to the reason it is difficult for law enforcement agents to uncover crimes and deal with offenders decisively. Non-native offenders commonly go at large after committing serious crimes. Sheer neglect and unemployment also worrisomely contribute to the high level of insecurity in the town. It is also a community where the interest of groups and big-players in politics frequently clash with one another with each group racing to win the attention of the youths. The current situation of Ibusa is expected where politicians arm youths to fulfill narcissistic and personal motives. When such politicians are no more in office, such youths are available to grief the society.

Land tussles and political interests are two factors that necessitate mêlée in the town. It has been noted many clubs, groups and associations in existence in the town are partisan and particularly serve the ravenousness of politicians and elders. Seminars, workshops and lectures that should enlighten the youths and elders alike are therefore rarely organized. This was why the Ibusa Like-minds Association, an organization with the objective of empowering the youths was readily welcomed because of its means of reaching out to students through workshops and seminars. It is believed that when clubs and associations neglect the attitude of clubbing with a view to drinking and eating and face the issues of the developmental needs of the town, sanity will surely return.

Ibusa, indigenously referred to as “Igbuzo” is believed to be one of the fastest growing communities in Delta State but this is as a result of self-development as the State Government has abandoned it in putrefaction with population remarkably on the increase without any visible indices of growth to justify it, worst situations stare the town in the face. Immigration into the town is high with settlement of non-indigenes in the town who usually join the bloody old ways of indigenes. It is also a development that has inflated prices of accommodation procurement, making nearly impossible to take up even a single room in the town. The community entirely depends on Asaba for its survival, a situation that leaves the town in extreme inactivity. This causes life in the town to be tedious for the idle youths who must survive. For now, the well lucrative business in the town is commercial motor-cycling.

There is no single higher institution of learning, and only two banks namely Union Bank and Bank PHB exist are in existence in the town. The community once lived with the rumour that branches UBA, Zenith and Afribank were to be brought to the town. However, this turned out to be figments of imagination. Construction works on the only market in the town, recently undergoing reconstruction has been halted. Roads are also not in existence and erosion is taking over the town, corroding more than half of the town. Large stones, blocks and bags of congealed cements can be commonly found waging buildings, trees, roads and paths but the town’s major challenge can be found in violence which is fast sweeping through the town, causing its teeming inhabitants fidgety nights. The state government has not exhibited any capacity to handle the state of affairs in the community.

A case of kidnap has been reported in the town, it was an incident in which the mother of a former bank chief in the town was kidnapped from her residence to the shock of all. Although, she was later discovered by the police in a far away neighbouring town, with no ransom was reportedly paid as claimed by the family but this as it seemed opened the unpleasant door of violence for the community. More depressing is the experiences of women in the town in cases ritual killings that followed. In the past six months, 10 women on their way to farmland have been killed in circumstances suspected to be ritual inclined. This compelled the youths of the town to constantly lay siege while guiding mothers to farmlands but this soon sky-rocketed the prices of food commodities in the town thus leading to hunger and starvation.

In a seminar organized for the youths and young minds in the town by the Ibusa Like-minds in 2008 at the prestigious Federal Government Girls’ College, Ibusa, Delta State, participants were told by a police boss how difficult it is to practice community policing in the town because indigenes are often unwilling to give out information regarding crimes in the town. It is possible to blame this on the family nature of the community which is closely knit. The people therefore do not believe that parties in a case before the police can return to continue to maintain relationship. Somehow, the tradition of the people forbids the patronage of inviting the police to settle differences instead preferring to deal with the issues by traditionally advancing reports to elders. It is a situation police say makes crime combat within the town unyielding. The police have therefore on some occasions, combed several houses in the village in vain in a bid to arrest suspected youths. These efforts have also left the police clashing with youths and requiring the intervention of the elders to restore sanity.

It was at Ogbogonogo, Asaba that Mrs. Mercy Dagogo was killed by unknown gunmen. Although, there are no evidences to link her assassination to Ibusa troubles, she died as the Divisional Police Officer newly posted to Ibusa following the killings of women on their way to farmlands. It remains a stain on the town and its people. The death of Mercy Dagogo also vilifies Asaba as a state capital vulnerable to security lapses which could result in loss of lives.

In a letter addressed to the state’s security operatives, Ibusa Community Development Union, United States of America Branch urged the authorities concerned to unravel the mystery behind the killings of women in the town while agreeing to reconstitute “Otu Egbeni (Local Vigilante Group). The Group also promised to cater for the salaries of the members of the vigilante group when reconstituted and to provide necessary equipment that will enable them to function properly. It is ironical that the protection of lives and security, which ordinarily is the duty of the state government is coming from far away, United States of America .

Idleness they say is the Devil’s workshop; the state of unemployment of teeming populations of the youths in the town is the singular contributory factor that has given rise to violent clashes that claims lives. Sheer neglect by government with blatant refusal to make their presence felt in the town leaves room for the idleness. It is a town in near perpetual darkness. This writer was shocked that for the complete three weeks he spent in the town there was no blink of electricity. Regrettably, the people have become inured to the terrible condition.

It is incredible that government parastals and ministries cannot be found in the populous community. Representations of the people at the National Assembly, Senate, Delta State House of Assembly and Local Government are far from what the people expect in terms of positive impacts and until this is ratified, Ibusa, a community with more than a hundred professors may slip into a more violent situation that the nation will have to battle in the years ahead.

 

By Emeka Esogbue 

 

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