According to Hon. Jacob who is the Councillor representing Ward 4, Elele in Ikwerre Legislative Assembly, “three things informed our decision to settle for the Vintage Farm venue for the sharing including security, space and equi-distance among the communities that make up the large ward which span to the Rison Palm Estate and the Elele Army Barracks that includes the non-indigenous elements”.
The coordinator said unlike what happened when Ward 3, Elele shared their own palliatives, hoodlums invaded the venue and attacked the people, destroying most of the palliatives items.
He said Ward 4 beneficiaries were called out the previous day by the town crier to the venue for collection of the palliatives which had been sorted out and bagged with various food items as usual.
Hon. Jacob said, “As the people came, they were asked to queue outside the gate in four(4) different rows, and controlled by soldiers and other security operatives.
“The committee members numbering over 27, were busy fetching the beneficiaries in batches of 20s who came in and pick one pack of the relief materials each that have been arranged accordingly and leave through another exit gate. The exercise was very smooth and easy as we have done it before on April 18, 2020.
He stated that after about one hour, the committee was alerted inside that the surging crowd of people outside the gate had pushed down some persons in their bid to gain advantageous position.
He said: “At this point, we stopped the exercise and rushed out to save the situation. I personally ensured that the casualties were sent to the hospital in my car. Two of the victims were later discharged while the more serious one was referred to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) where she died later.”
Hon. Amadi made it clear that there was no pregnant woman that was involved or that was forced to deliver and warned Chief Okah to desist from raising false alarm or dragging the name of his party and community to the mud for selfish reason. He urged the public to disregard the unsubstantiated claims of Mr. Okah.
Another eyewitness, Mr. Chika Ogele said everything that happened was an accident and wondered why the Elele palace Chief Okechukwu Okah would want to use it to score a cheap political point against his former master, Eze Mike Elechi by making derogatory and provocative statement in the media about the unfortunate incidence.
He said people were at a loss over the escalating crisis of the former two friends and illustrious sons of Elele.
He said: “Chief Okah was at a time employed by Eze, Sir Mike Elechi when the former was sacked by Michelin Company Plc and wouldn't know the cause of their disagreement”.
Ogele used the opportunity to appeal to the Rivers State government to intervene in the unnecessary crisis before it escalates, adding that the problem was not very far from the fact that Chief Okah had not been in good terms with Sir Mike Elechi for not supporting him to become paramount ruler of Elele Kingdom.