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Soldiers Killing: Okuama Returnees Collapse On Seeing Their Destroyed Homes

On returning to Okuama-Ewu community in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, following the withdrawal of the Nigerian Army, many residents, particularly mothers, collapsed upon seeing their homes in ruins.

A report by Vanguard which visited the community revealed a distressing scene as some residents experienced a sudden rise in blood pressure upon witnessing the extent of the destruction, requiring hours to recover. Amidst the chaos, returning villagers expressed bewilderment and sorrow over their situation.

Sixty-five-year-old Maria Adam, who fled Okuama-Ewu in March only to return in May, described her shock, saying, “On arrival when I saw the level of destruction, I fainted and was revived because I suffered hypertension.” She recounted the loss of her belongings and appealed for government assistance, expressing uncertainty about rebuilding their lives.

Similarly, Vero Joseph, a 68-year-old farmer, shared her dismay upon seeing the devastation, stating, “On arrival at the community and seeing the devastation, I fell terribly sick; nothing is left here.” She detailed the destruction of homes and essential items, emphasizing the challenges of starting anew but expressed a preference for returning to her hometown over seeking refuge elsewhere.

Fifty-two-year-old farmer Florence Ekiroro collapsed at the jetty overwhelmed by the realization of their homelessness, saying, “I collapsed at the jetty because we have become homeless.” She described the loss of essential belongings and rejected the idea of relocating to an IDP camp, citing the unfavorable conditions compared to their community.

Victoria Paul, a 58-year-old trader and farmer, recounted her ordeal, stating, “On arrival and seeing the gravity of damages, I fainted but was revived.” She lamented the destruction of her provisions business and personal belongings, despite finding solace in her community and beginning fishing to sustain her family.

Grace Okoye, a 55-year-old trader and farmer, expressed deep distress over the loss of her possessions, including her children’s academic documents and savings. She said, “On return, I feel very distressed and because everything I have had been destroyed. What pained me most were my children’s results and my building. I lost my boxes of wrappers and N200,000 cash in the house.
Okuama-Ewu returnee villagers collapse, fall sick on sighting destroyed homes
Image credit: Vanguard

”I only escaped with the wrapper on my waist, which is what I have also returned with. Only God can assist me in start all over but one cannot run away from my community. I cannot stay in another town, I am happy to be back, and I have mastered staying here. I cannot compare here with the forest; it is my home. ”At night, we sleep in the church here, we have started fishing and that is how we are managing now.

Grace added, “Our youths caught some of the thieves. While we were away; they were busy harvesting our produce and immediately the army left, they came to scavenge. We have yet to hear from the government since returning.”
Delta killings: Displaced Okuama people cries out, beg Oborevwori to save  them – Opinion Nigeria
The Okuama returnees also called on the state government, led by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, and others to come to their aid to help them pick up the pieces of their lives after all that happened to them.

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