ONELGA Massacre: Civil Society Groups call for urgent investigation into Genocide, Terrorism

At a world press conference which held at Omoku community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, organsied by Civil Society Groups in Orashi region, today, newsmen had the opportunity to interact with victims of the mayhem caused by cult groups.

A communique issued reads:

WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE GENOCIDE & TERRORISM BY CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS IN ORASHI REGION OF RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA HELD 17TH JANUARY 2018.

PROTOCOLS,

Gentlemen of the press and distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to this very important World Press Conference in the light of recent development in the Orashi region Vis-à-vis the prevailing security situation thereof.

BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Orashi Region comprises of four Local Government Areas to wit: Abua-Obual, Ahoada East, Aboada West, and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni local Government Area respectively, generally referred to as old Ahoada Local Government Area. Ethnic nationalities like Ekpeye, Ogba, Engeni, Egbema, Ndoni, Odual, and Abua have peacefully co-existed in the region for donkey years. Orashi region is blessed with abundant arable land mass as well as aquatic resources as embodied by the Orashi and Sombrero rivers. The region is also host to a number of multi-national Oil Companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR); Total E&P Nigeria Limited; Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) and several other subsidiaries.

The region is host to three major gas plants at Obite, Ebocha and Ogbele in addition to the NLNG major reservoir at Ubeta which serves as a feeder to the Bonny NLNG terminal. The hardworking and industrious people of the Orashi region are known for farming and fishing activities thereby contributing to the feeding of the nation.

The Orashi region by its cosmopolitan character is not only strategic to the Nigerian nation but also important to the international community.

Orashi region which used to be known for its hospitality, peace and good neighbourliness, has regrettably in recent years especially during the build-up to the 2015 general elections witnessed unprecedented violence of genocidal proportion. The desperate ambition of a single individual, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, changed the peaceful ambience of the region to one of daily and gruesome bloodletting.

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Governor Nyesom Wike with his co-conspirator in the person of Mr. Felix Obuah maintained and sustained criminal gangs including but not limited to Don Wanny’s group who consistently terrorized the entire region. Scores of innocent people particularly persons perceived to be sympathetic to the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) were cold-bloodedly murdered; brutally beheaded and their properties worth millions of Naira destroyed.

The genocidal targeting of APC members are too numerous to mention but suffice it to mention a few like the beheading of ward 4 Chairman of Omoku, Late Mr. Obi Franklin along with his pregnant wife and son; APC youth leader in ONELGA, Hon. Clever Orukwowu; Chief Okwu Osia, the paramount ruler of Egbada Community in ONELGA, Chief Godpower Ahiaidu; Hon. Monday Elenya, former Member of Rivers State House of Assembly; APC Ward 11

Chairman in Ahoada-East, Mr. Roggers Jared; Mr. Chikwem Itigwe of Ahoada East and similar cases of murder was witnessed in Ekpeye Kingdom of Ahoada West.  Hon Alali Morris, the former Councilor representing Ward 1 and a chieftain of APC was also killed along the Abua -Ahoada road.

Chief Christopher Adube was murdered with six members of his family in one single incident and one of his sons has been confined to a wheel chair as a result of the attack. On the same brutal devilish day other persons were senselessly murdered in Oboh community also in ONELGA. On the same night that Chief Adube was murdered which was on the 3rd of April, 2015, about sixteen people were gruesomely killed in Omoku town alone.

The number of persons brutally murdered by these terrorists groups are estimated as follows: 2,060 from ONELGA, AHOADA EAST 1,100, AHOADA WEST 70, and Abua/Odual 200 persons lost their lives through politically motivated killings.

The enormity of the loss suffered by the region cannot be quantified in monetary terms in that practically every aspect of commercial endeavours were brought to stand still as women were deprived access to their farms as they were regularly raped in the farms, some dying in the process, shops and business houses were vandalized and shutdown, Commercial Banks were forced to close business for instance, Skye Bank and Ecobank left Ahoada town, while First Bank, Ecobank, Zenith Bank, FCMB, Platinum Bank also left Omoku town. Hotels and hospitality centers as well as schools were forced to shut down and thereby giving undue advantage to one of the sponsors of the criminal gangs, Mr. Felix Obuah to display his acquisitive greed by buying off choice properties in the area. The said Felix Obuah who is from the crises area of Orashi region being from Omoku in ONELGA and is also the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), instead of condemning these killings and genocide happening to his people in ONELGA and Orashi region has instead sought to benefit mightily from the destruction and desolation of the area by buying up choice properties of the victims of the genocide, most of whom have sold such properties under duress. Such properties include Oasis Hotels, Arabella Hotels, Kings and Queens Group of schools, De Reg Hotels, MTN Office in Omoku town and so on.

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Other beneficiaries of this deplorable state of affairs in Orashi region and ONELGA in particular include Hon. Elemchukwu Ogbowu who had shown open fraternity with the late Don Wanny. It is also worthy of note and rather frightening, that all the elected and appointed officers of the Orashi region that are of a particular political party extraction failed and refused to condemn these act of genocide which occurred all through from 2014 till date.

There was massive migration from the region and forced displacement of persons who are yet to recover from the shocks of the violence that engulfed the region. The effect of the activities of the rampaging politically sponsored criminals can only be compared to the situation in the North-East part of Nigeria that is the Boko Haram insurgence. Even the Benue State killings that have generated so much justifiable outrage would be viewed as child’s play compared to what happened in the Orashi region of Rivers State of Nigeria.

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The situation degenerated so badly that on the 1st of January 2018, 23 worshipers returning from cross-over services were gruesomely murdered while so many injured people are presently receiving medical attention in various hospitals and health centers.

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the security agencies intervened which led to the killing of Don Wanny on 6th January 2018.The efforts of the Federal Government is highly commendable and should be sustained.

WE DEMAND THE FOLLOWING:

1.That the Genocide and Terrorism in Orashi region is highly condemnable, hence the perpetrators and sponsors be brought to book.

2.There is growing suspicion that security agencies and operatives in Orashi region may have been compromised, hence their roles should be investigated.

3.That Security of the region should be improved to cleanse the area from criminal elements that still roam and terrorize the area.

4.That the multinational oil companies within Orashi region should desist from patronizing criminals in their exploration activities.

5. We call on the Federal Government, International community, donor agencies and other humanitarian agencies to urgently attend to the needs of the victims and displaced People of Orashi region.

6. We are also calling on the youths of Orashi region to tow the path of peace and shun social vices that are inimical to the development of our region.

7. In view of the strategic economic contribution of Orashi region, The Federal Government should embark on people oriented programmes that would ameliorate the suffering of the people and create massive employment for our teaming youth.

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