Politics Uncategorized

Delta massacre: Group kicks in opposition to resettlement plan for Okuama indigenes

A bunch often known as the Concerned Ijaw Citizens has kicked in opposition to the Delta State Government’s plan to embark on the reconstruction of vandalized public buildings corresponding to colleges and well being centres within the troubled Okuama neighborhood in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the State.

This was contained in an announcement signed by its Coordinator, Seigha Manager, copies of which have been made obtainable to journalists in Warri on Wednesday.

According to the group, “Delta State Government should have invited the neighbouring Okoloba people and their leaders, give them listening ears and let them bare their hearts on their challenges, pains and fears, before embarking on any rehabilitation agenda for the displaced Okuama indigenes”.

It will probably be recalled that the Okuama neighborhood was vandalized by army troops in retaliation for the March 14, 2024 killing of 17 Army officers and troopers stated to be on a peace mission over the Okuama and Okoloba disaster.

Consequently, displaced Okuama indigenes and farmers fled for security into the creeks till not too long ago when the army pulled out its troops from the neighborhood whereas the federal government additionally urged them to return and rebuild the ruins of their ancestral houses.

The authorities additionally established an Internally Displaced Camp positioned at Ewu Grammar School in Ewu-Urhobo kingdom for the rehabilitation of the returnees.

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However, the Concerned Ijaw Citizens faulted the method the Delta State Government adopted in dealing with the resettlement of the displaced Okuama indigenes saying that “talking to just one party in a crisis and ignoring the other could give a sense of apathy instead of empathy and that could be counter-productive in the quest for lasting peace for Okuama/Okoloba crisis”.

The Concerned Ijaw Citizens maintained that “after having engaged the leadership of the Okoloba community on the root cause of the lingering Okuama – Okoloba communal crisis, the group’s findings had revealed that Okuama had crossed the ancestral boundary line between Akugbene and Okoloba, which was undisputably in existence long before the Okuama arrived, moved deep and aggressively into Okoloba side”.

The group famous that this had constantly been the ache of Okoloba and urged Governor Sheriff Oberevwori to “address those challenges and pains and of course allay their (Okoloba’s) fears, especially as it concerns the alleged threats of mass killings against them by Okuama people, and assuring them of government’s equal attention and protection at all times”.

The group additionally urged the Government to “get specific terms of commitment from them, particularly, their leaders to continue to co-operate and collaborate with the state government and security agencies in maintaining peace in their community, and of course along the River Forcados as a whole”.

Also, the group enjoined the Government to “listen to the cry of the Diebiri people as far as their resettlement to their ancestral home is concerned and take urgent and specific steps to address their plight”.

By so doing, the group submitted, “the Government would have laid a solid and immutable roadmap to restoring enduring peace in the state, not just in Okuama/Okoloba case but everywhere else in Delta State”.



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