Anambra: Reps to intervene in oil-rich Ogwuaniocha violent crisis
File Photo: House of Representatives
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to intervene in the recurrent crisis in the oil-rich Ogwuaniocha community in Ogbaru Federal Constituency of Anambra state.
The crisis in the community has led to deaths, destruction of property and had had grueling impact on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
The lawmakers also mandated NEMA to set up an Internally Displaced Persons(IDP) camp for the people and provide them with relief materials in order to alleviate their sufferings.
These directives were given on the floor of the House during plenary on Tuesday following a motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Afam Victor Ogene.
Ogene, in the motion entitled, “Urgent Need to Rescue Ogwuaniocha Community in Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Anambra From Reprisal Attacks and the Jaws of Violent Criminal Gangs”, lamented that criminal gangs have taken over the Ogwuaniocha community, set up camps and sacked residents from their homes and farmlands, resulting to untold hardship, fear and despondency for the people in the community and its environs.
According to him, “Since Monday, November 15, 2021 – no farming activity, no school for the children, no business activities as a result of the occupation of the community by the criminal gangs, who have relocated from other parts of the state and set up camps in and around the community.”
The motion read: “Aware that the security of lives and property is the primary purpose of government;
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“Also aware that Ogwuaniocha in Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Anambra state is an oil bearing community, (contributing over 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day), which earned the state its oil producing status;
“Alarm that violent gangs have set up camps in and around Ogwuaniocha Community, sacked the residents, kidnapped the traditional ruler (Igwe), killed and maimed many, unchallenged, which is a desecration of the traditional institution and erosion of our cultural values;
“Worried that there is a resurgence of crisis in the community and its environs last week, leading to abduction of over 20 people who are yet to be accounted for, a trend that has kept recurring since November, 2021, without meaningful steps by the Anambra State Government, aimed at rescuing the Igwe, who is still unaccounted for, or explore any administrative measures to finding solution to the problem;
“Concern that the displaced people of Ogwuaniocha are going through difficult times without any provision for shelter or relief materials as they have no Internally Displaced Persons(IDP) camps;
“Further concern that while oil production goes on seamlessly in Ogwuaniocha, the people have been forced to stay off their community for two years now – since Monday, November 15, 2021 – no farming activity, no school for the children, no business activities as a result of the occupation of the community by the criminal gangs, who have relocated from other parts of the state and set up camps in and around the community;
“House Resolves to: (i) Direct the Committee on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to look into the matter, set up an IDP camp for the people and provide them with relief materials; and report back to the House.”