By Ebi Perekeme
The people of Egbema Kingdom, in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, have raised the alarm over military blockage of the area leading to food shortage and starvation.
In a press statement on Wednesday by the President of the Egbema Leaders of Thought, Elder Edmund Doyah Tiemo and made available to GbaramatuVoice he said: “We wish to draw the attention of the civilized world to the fact that Egbema Kingdom in Delta State is currently facing starvation comparable only to what is happening in the Tigres region, where Ethiopian soldiers refused to allow UN Peace keepers and food to get to the civil population.
“This gruesome picture is the situation in Egbema Kingdom of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta, Nigeria today.
“The background to this crisis is the alleged attack of a Military Base Station at Obodo in Warri South Local Government Area, where soldiers were allegedly killed by hoodlums. Although, no official statement on the attack has been issued by the military Joint Task Force (JTF), the soldiers had told passengers on the Benin River and Gelegele axis of the attack, thus justifying the lockdown at Egbema since the 2nd of July, 2021 when the incident reportedly occurred.
“Before this incident, another one was reported on the 28th June, 2021, few kilometers from the scene as the Egbema Peace keepers came under attack by unidentified gunmen, leading to loss of several lives. Thus, the military operatives who were attacked are victims just like the Ijaws in the area were also victims of criminal attacks. Therefore, it would be wrong for people who have suffered same magnitude of losses to be subjected to this horror.
“The fundamental rights of the people to movement as entrenched in Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended have been clearly violated in the guise of chasing after hoodlums.
“Why on earth should the innocent populace suffer because of the crime of an unidentified few? We cannot agree less with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe when he asserted that the Nigerian government of President Muhammadu Buhari operates two sets of laws: In the North where criminals kidnap, terrorize and kill both soldiers and even school children, none of the communities is unduly punished for the crime of the few.
“President Obasanjo introduced it in Odi in Bayelsa State and now it has been taken to a higher level, whereby a whole kingdom of not less than 200,000 people is under siege for over five days consecutively without movement of people and food items.
“While they denied our people food and medical attention; the Army moved food to soldiers who guide critical oil facilities in their fatherland!
“They have food, light and medical attention in their facilities in our territory, yet, as if it is not enough punishment that we lack these essential commodities.
“Our passionate appeal, therefore, is to the authorities to open the Egbema kingdom for life to return while the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the hoodlums can continue.”