Group Writes Oborevwori Of Looming Hunger In Delta As Kidnappers Lay Siege To Abavo Kingdom

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State

 

…Says Abavo Under Existential Threats Over Insecurity

…Says Farmers Are Being Killed, Raped 

 

The people of Abavo Kingdom in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State have appealed to the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to urgently intervene in the rising insecurity within the Kingdom.

They said the Kingdom is facing alarming security threats as heavily armed men are laying siege to their farmlands and their communities.

They specifically lamented that farmers in the area are being kidnapped, killed and raped on daily basis by the unknown gunmen who have turned their farms to their dens.

This was contained in an open letter by socio-cultural group, Awu Elites (AE), a body of professionals from Abavo Kingdom, to Governor Oborevwori and security chiefs in the state.

The letter signed by Awu Elites’ President, Prince Frank Moses Jegbefume and Assistant Secretary, Mr. Jude Amamosa, urged the governor save the from what it described as “existential threats” in the hands of unknown criminals.

They disclosed that several farmers have been kidnapped, raped and gruesomely murdered by the gunmen, forcing farmers in the area to abandon their farmlands for the fear of being kidnapped, killed or raped.

It noted that the currently security arrangement in the area has failed to dislodged the criminal elements operating in the kingdom, especially along the Owa/Abavo section of the Udu/Itakpe railway line.

The letter, which had the State Commissioner of Police, Director of DSS, and others copied, called on Governor Oborevwori to save the people of Abavo from the looming hunger and existential threats.

The letter, while reminding Governor and security chiefs in the state on the importance of Abavo Kingdom in the agricultural value-chain, noted that the people of the area might take to self-help if nothing was done to address the insecurity in the area.

 

“Awu Elites is a social club of professionals of Abavo origin and the club is registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The professions of its members cut across various fields of human endeavour including Medicine, Business, Engineering, Fine Arts, Banking, ICT, Nursing, Public Service, Law, Real Estate, Insurance and Teaching among others. One of the aims of the club is to contribute to the development of Abavo Community and the sustenance of the well being of her people.
For several decades, Abavo was a very peaceful community of peace loving people.

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“However, this is no longer the case because for the past three years security in Abavo and environs has largely deteriorated. There have been sporadic incidents of kidnapping for ransom which have lately escalated to dangerous dimensions in which some of the victims have lost their lives in the process, others carted away by the criminals and released only after huge sums of money sometimes running into millions of Naira have been paid to the criminals, some of the victims are raped and farmlands are destroyed in the process.

“The focal points of these attacks by these dangerous criminals are the Abavo farmlands close to the Udu (Ujevwu)-Itakpe railway line running through Abavo, Azuowa Quarters of Abavo as well as the road linking Owa Kingdom in the Ika North East Local Government Area to Abavo community.

“There are fears that if left unchecked this criminality could spread to other parts of Abavo. Although Abavo community has an internal vigilante security arrangement that was set up to complement the efforts of the security agencies, the current security system available in the community seems to have been overwhelmed by the ferocity of attacks by these dangerous elements terrorising our community, with the consequence that the attacks have continued unabated to this day.

“The implications of these attacks on our community men and women if not stopped urgently are weighty and they include but are not limited to the fact that our people are now afraid to go to their farmlands to farm because of these criminals. Agricultural productivity in our community is already low as a result and it is expected to drop further if nothing is quickly done to arrest the situation. A huge drop in agricultural yield has serious consequences on the food security of our people and by extension that of the entire state. This would have adverse effects on our farmers’ disposable incomes, worsen the already high cost of food, throw more people into poverty and ultimately impact negatively on the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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“Moreover, poor security impacts negatively on the investment climate of any area affected and people would be reluctant to invest in Abavo if the worsening insecurity in the community is not curtailed.

“Furthermore, every Abavo person deserves to go about his business and attend to their personal obligations without the fear of being kidnapped or killed. The reverse is currently the case. The psychological trauma this state of affairs creates does not help the overall well being of Abavo people. Those who are raped would have their dignity and self esteem eroded, have unwanted pregnancies and stand the chance of contracting sexually transmitted infections which they could spread to others”, the letter partly read.

While warning of possible break down of law and order, the group added, “Lastly, if the incessant kidnappings in Abavo, which in some instances have led to fatalities,are not stopped as quickly as possible, the people may be forced to resort to self-help to defend themselves to stay alive. This is not an option that this club recommends but the club also understands that a dying man has little or no option left with him and he may be compelled to do irrational things to stay alive rather than allow himself to be killed like a chicken. This scenario may lead to a state of anarchy, which is not what this club wants nor advocates for.

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“Based on the foregoing, this club appeals to Your Excellency to please use your good offices to see that the security situation in Abavo is improved upon to stop the kidnappings, killings and destruction of farmlands as soon as possible. Our knowledge of the fact that Your Excellency has been able to intervene successfully in some other areas of the state where security challenges have occurred gives us the hope that you would intervene successfully in our own case too.

 

“It is the opinion of this club that the options available to Your Excellency in arresting the situation could include enhancing the capacity of the current security agencies working in that axis by way of providing them more men and resources to do their work, getting other security agencies not currently being engaged in that axis to be part of the crime fighting efforts, facilitating the establishment of military check points around the axis where this criminality is being perpetrated and in other potential flashpoints within the kingdom, liaising with the Abavo traditional institutions for an all encompassing cultural approach to mitigate these crimes and any other approach that Your Excellency deems fit in resolving these existential threats faced by our people.

“This club felt compelled to intervene at this point as one of its modest contributions to bring sustainable peace to our homeland.”

NIGER DELTA TODAY Online reports that Abavo Kingdom is generally referred to as the “food basket of Delta” due to its rich agricultural commodities including yams, cassava, palm oil, maize, okra and among others.


1 COMMENT

  1. Dear governor please come to our rescue. These criminals are killing and rapping us everyday… We are dominant farmers, that is oir only source of livelihood, help us so we can survive in this hard state of the Nigerian economy.

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