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Hope Rises for Displaced Niger Delta Community

Ekporo community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State in Nigeria was sacked by the neighbouring community of Ogu about seven years ago after a communal clash that led to several deaths.

Since then people from Ekporo community had been scattered as internally displaced refugees among other neighbouring and even far flung communities and had not been able to return home. Most of them lost valuable properties and antiques. Each time they tried to return home they were attacked. So they had to stay back leaving their fate in the hands of God.

Unfortunately for them, they were never recognized by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) or even the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as people needing assistance. So help never came to them. The Rivers State government had on several occasions promised to restore them. But that had remained only on paper.

But of recent, serious efforts have been mounting to get the people to return home. The efforts have come from the members representing their respective constituencies in the Rivers State House of Assembly and the local government chairmen.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of Eleme Local Government, Phillip Okparaji, and his Ogu/Bolo counterpart, Erasmus Victor toured the abandoned community as part of efforts restore the community.

Okparaji said he called the meeting after a native of Ekporo community, John Micah Ngelale alleged that the corpse of his father and former paramount ruler of Ekporo, Late Chief Micah Ngelale, had been exhumed from its resting place by unknown persons. The late Ngelale was the grandfather of Ajuri Ngelala, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs. Ajuri is the son of former Minister of Water Resources, Precious Ngelale.

After an extensive dialogue with his Ogu/Bolo counterpart and security agents, the Eleme LGA chairman expressed regret over the alleged act and stated that they have agreed to inform the state government for further action.

Apart from the security agencies that were present, President General of O-E’la Obor Eleme, Elder Israel Abbey, John Micah Ngelale, Chief Jonathan Olaka and two chiefs from Ogu/Bolo were also present.

The member representing Eleme in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Aforji Igwe, and his counterpart from Ogu/Bolo, Evans Bipi, had earlier on toured the community.

Okparaji, Victor and others touring overgrown streets in Ekporo Photo
Okparaji, Victor and others touring overgrown streets in Ekporo
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