Benue: Return of displaced communities gladdens Akoh

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Amb Dickson Akoh presenting some relief materials to the communities. He is surrounded by members of the communities
Amb Dickson Akoh presenting some relief materials to the communities. He is surrounded by members of the communities

The President of the Dickson Akoh Foundation, Amb. Dickson Akoh has expressed gladness over the return of some displaced Benue communities.

The displaced people of Ogobia and Ondo communities of Ugboju district in Otukpo local government of Benue State, returned to their ancestral homes, six months after a communal clash.

The two communities had been enmeshed with crises which had lasted for three years, where over 100 persons had lost their lives, property worth millions of naira destroyed and over 1000 people displaced.

Some members of the communities returning after the clashes
Some members of the communities returning after the clashes

Elder Okopi Odah, the Village Head of Ondo community and the Youth leader, Enokela Agba, told a gathering at the weekend that, the people had no other place to call their home, since the government did not provide any camp for the displaced persons, they had been living at the mercy of friends and relatives in the neighbouring communities.

“Since the Eje Alekwu of Ugboju (the cultural festival of Ugboju people) is this weekend, we can’t afford to celebrate it elsewhere, other than our ancestral home, we have no option than to return home”, Mr. Odah told his visitors.

He, however, lamented the recent arrests of over 5 youths from the community whom he said have been languishing in police net without prosecution or bail.

Responding, the President of Dickson Akoh Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, appreciated the community for heeding to his entreaties that they should return home, assuring that, his foundation would continue to liase with the government to ensure that lastiing peace, tranquility and decorum return to the hitherto crisis ravaged communities.

Akoh who is a holder of the traditional title of ‘Ogigo’mebe k’Ugboju’ (the traditional mirror of Ugboju district), enjoined the people of the community to shun further act of violence, saying “no community will develop or progress in an atmosphere of crisis”.

On the alleged illicit arrests of youth members, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria assured the youth that he would liaise with relevant authorities to ensure that they were released, adding that, he had met with Governor Samuel Ortom early hours of the day to discuss state of the communities with him.

While warning against reprisal attacks and malicious accusations against fellow brethren, Akoh, however, said, “in a case where it is established that anyone is linked to the killing of the deceased, the law shall be allowed to take its course”.

Akoh, through his foundation, made cash donation and relieve materials which include food items and others, that could serve round the entire returnees, even as he promised to ensure that adequate security is provided as the people celebrate Eje Alekwu festival.

Meanwhile, a teenager and student of Vama Model Secondary school in Otada, Otukpo local government of Benue State, who recently invented a dummy motorcycle, car and grinding machine from waste plastic products, Paul Oloche, was at the weekend celebrated in his school by Dickson Akoh Foundation.

In the event which had in attendance, the member representing Adoka/Ugboju constituency at the Benue House of Assembly, Barr. Adam Okloho, the Paramount ruler of Otukpo area council, Chief John Eyimonye, the Proprietor of the school, Rev. Fr. Sylvester Onmoke and others, Akoh called on Idoma leaders to rally round the young and talented Oloche to enable him fulfil his dream of becoming a renowned Engineer.

To this end, the foundation made a cash donation of five hundred thousand naira to be lodged in an account which shall serve to raise endowment fund for young Oloche’s university education outside the country.

In a related development, the foundation also visited a 3-year old boy, Fanen Tehemen who has been languishing in Makurdi hospital since September 2017 as the parents could not raise the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira to perform a surgery on him.

The little Fanen who has lost one of his hands and about loosing his eye due to excruciating effect of fire burnt, however, got his medical bills paid by Dickson Akoh Foundation which would warrant immediate surgery to be performed on him.


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