• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Hunt for bombers: Oporoza cuts off from food supplies but NDDC comes to the rescue


militantsPeople of Oporoza in Gbaramatu area of Wari South-West local council area of Delta State are said to be cut off from food sources in Warri leading to over 90 percent of the community now in exile.

This is said to be in the wake of the military invasion of communities in the Gbaramatu kingdom. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has moved in to save lives and to avert disaster likely to arise from starvation.

The managing director of RAHI Medical Outreach that is partnering the Commission, Chris Ekiyor, said “military activities in Gbaramatu had stopped people from going to Warri to buy food for fear of being victims in the conflict. The women and children all left and since they came back with some sicknesses and other afflictions, they had not been able to access garri or water that come from Warri. So, there is hunger in the land.

“That is why we decided to partner with the NDDC to bring succour to the communities. We needed to bring something to the people, particularly women and children. Even when you have the money, you cannot buy garri because the garri is not there. So, we have to bring it to them at their doorsteps and bring healthcare too.”

Ekiyor said further: “The intervention was necessary because when the displaced people were in the bush, they endured mosquito bites and drank polluted water. They would come down with gastro-enteritis, get infections and malaria. So, we are responding to that. This is why we are here and we are very happy that NDDC is responding, because government has a duty to respond to its people. Government has the burden to respond to security and also has the responsibility to make sure that in carrying out the security function the collateral damages were also addressed.

 “The victims of this conflict are those who hitherto had no hand in the violence. These are women, children and the aged. The focus of this project is to make sure that we re-start their daily lives on a fast lane. We are giving them rice, garri, groundnut oil, palm oil, yam, fish, medication and mosquito treated nets. Then, we are also giving them health talks so that they can quickly re-start their lives.”

 The NDDC has in partnership with RAHI Medical Outreach, distributed relief materials and medical supplies to the traumatised people.

 Presenting the materials at Oporoza community, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom, the NDDC acting managing director, Ibim Semenitari, said that the Commission responded to a distress call from the communities affected by the military operations targeted at militants and pipeline vandals.

The acting managing director, who was represented by the NDDC deputy director in Health, Education and Social Services directorate, George Uzonwanne, said as a result of the military search for pipeline vandals, the people suffered some collateral damages, which made it necessary for the Commission to invite a team of doctors to give medical support to the people.

Uzonwane stated that the NDDC swung into action to supply food items and medicaments to give succour to the communities in partnership with RAHI, a Non-Governmental organisation. He added: “We have sent a team of doctors and medications to all the health centres in the affected communities. There were over 30 communities that were affected. We stretched our resources to cover at least 15 of those communities. This is not the first time NDDC is coming to Oporoza. Two years ago, we had a full medical mission here. It is an on-going relationship.”

He urged members of the communities that ran into the creeks to come back home, allaying their fears that there could be more military activities in the area. “The people need to return home because it is only when there is peace that the NDDC can function optimally in the communities,” Uzonwanne said.

Speaking after receiving the items, the Vice Chairman of Oporoza community, Maurice Tebela, thanked NDDC for donating the items and appealed for more assistance. He said that the hunt for militants by military men made it impossible for people in the area to move around to get food to eat.

Tebela, appealed to the Federal Government, to release the students who were arrested by the military, saying that they are not all members of the community. He stated that about 90 per cent of the community members were now in exile as a result of the military operations in Gbaramtu Kingdom.

The Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Niger Delta Affairs/Brace Commission, Kelly Penawou, said that the state government was grateful to the NDDC and RAHI Medical Outreach, for the laudable programme.

He said: “The emergency relief programme is very special and we really appreciate what NDDC is doing. The people should be very happy with NDDC for bringing them food because they need food. They are scattered and I want to use this medium to appeal to NDDC, to extend this good gesture to other communities, like Okorenkoko and others who are also affected by the conflict and by so doing they would have helped the Federal Government in alleviating the sufferings of the people.”