Okuama: UHS Delivers Relief Materials As Residents Return To Destroyed Community

…..says rebuilding Okuama too enormous to be left to residents alone



Distressed residents returning from nearly two months in creek hideouts to Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government, Delta state, have received relief materials from the Urhobo Historical Society (UHS) USA to assist in the agonising task of restoring their livelihoods and disappeared homes following military destruction of the community over March 14 killing of 17 soldiers.

The community leaders were on hand yesterday to receive the relief materials raging from basic food items to cooking utensils, cutleries, toiletries and clothing as the donor body urged other individuals and organisations to join the Okuama restoration task too enormous to be left for government and community indigenes alone.

President of the UHS, Dr. Aruegodore Oyiborhoro, who presented the items at the Iwhre-Okpe Waterside through an interface, Egufe Yafugborhi, enroute boat conveyance to Okuama, noted the choice of items delivered based on the feedback from the people showed the acute lack currently being suffered by the Okuama people.

Dr. Oyiborhoro said, “The story of Okuama is known to world. No need retelling it here. With their homes completely wipe out, the community made a wasteland, the feedback we got meant the UHS had to buy items as basic a cutleries, toothbrushes, paste, cooking pots, plates, clothing, toiletries added to the rice, beans, garri, salt and sundry basic food items.

“The case of Okuama people is the clear definition of starting from the scratch with not even a piece to pick up from in the task of rehabilitation and resettlement. That is why this little effort by the UHS is not to prove any point, but to tell the whole world Okuama needs a great deal of help.

“We call on individuals and organisations to join the Okuama people and government to assist in rebuilding their lives. Okuama cannot go into extinction. From our assessment of their plight, the people also need security as they are so vulnerable at the moment, bearing in mind the experience on their first day of return home. Hopefully, they will gradually find their feet again.”

Receiving the items on behalf of the community, Hon Jacob Akemor, leader among Okuamas living away from home said, “We can’t thank the UHS enough. Earlier while the many displaces folks were rudderless and suffering in creek hideouts, a prominent member among the predominantly US based leaders of the society, Michael Egi, had sent reliefs.

“As we return home following the military withdrawal our land, UHS becomes the first donor to send relief materials. We are grateful as the goodwill gives us much hope to pull through this challenging times.

“Right now, save for the Anglican Church, the only structure left standing which every returnee is cramped, we have no shelter, no water to drink, not food, no clothes. Nothing. Our spirit is lifted with the UHS gesture and we want others to emulate their effort to help us out.”

The UHS is a body of Urhobo Elite and intellectuals committed to serving the history and culture of the Urhobo people.

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