Okuama-Ewu: Over 12 Residents Trapped In Forests Die Of Hunger, Sickness

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More than twelve residents of Okuama-Ewu community in Delta State have succumbed to hunger, sickness, and snake bites after being trapped in forests following a military operation in the community.

Bellnews reports that the operation, initiated in response to the killing of 17 soldiers, has left the riverine community in a state of dire isolation since last month.

In response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis, Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, inaugurated an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) management committee tasked with coordinating the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced villagers.

The committee, led by Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, includes dignitaries such as the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, and several other key figures from the region.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Ogbodo, the newly appointed chairman of the IDP management committee and a former editor of The Guardian Newspapers, disclosed that more than 12 residents who were forced into hiding have died of hunger snakebite and sickness.

“We recorded more than 12 people who died of hunger, sickness, and snake bites since they were forced into hiding. This tragic loss underlines the urgent need for effective crisis management and support,” Ogbodo said.

Speaking at the committee’s inauguration in Asaba, Governor Oborevwori expressed his deep concern over the incident and its repercussions on the community.

“While we condemn the heinous act that claimed the lives of our brave soldiers, our priority remains the welfare of the innocent civilians who have borne the brunt of this tragedy,” he said.

The governor reassured that measures are being taken to ensure that those affected are not only returned to their homes but are also supported through their recovery.

“The establishment of this committee is a critical step towards healing and rebuilding the lives of our people in Okuama-Ewu,” Oborevwori added.

Bellnews recalls that human rights activist Femi Falana, SAN, had urged the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, to reassign the investigation to the police, seeking a transparent probe into the military’s actions in the community.

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