By Olikita Ekani
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Redeem, Widows and Orphan Foundation, a Nongovernmental organisation based in New York City, United States of America, Dr. Pst William PB Devlin, has distributed Relief Materials to victims of Igama herdsmen deadly attack.
The distribution which took place at St. Paul Catholic Church, Utonkon in Ado LGA where most of the IDPs are being camped temporarily, was done in conjunction with US-Nigeria Law Group, based in Washington DC, led by its Founder and CEO, Barr Emmanuel Ogebe.
It can be recalled that suspected Fulani herdsmen in the early hours of Sunday, 12th June, 2022, attacked Igama Community in Edumoga, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State, leading to loss of more than 30 lives and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
Speaking shortly before the commencement of the humanitarian exercise, Dr William condemned the unprovoked terrorists attack on Igama community, admonishing the displaced victims to hold up to God for quick end of their travails as Christians.
“My attention was drawn to the unfortunate incident by my friend and one of your sons, Barr Emmanuel Ogebe. We are coming all the way from America not only to help in rebuilding your destroyed houses but also to give you hope in the name of Jesus Christ. We have not forgotten you and God has not forgotten you”, Dr William reechoed.
The Missionary Volunteer said, his primary priority is to rehabilitate and bring succours to victims of war and religious prosecution through the Gospel of Jesus in war ravaged and religious intolerant countries in the Middle East, Africa and some European countries.
He thanked the Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom for providing the enabling environment which made the trip a successful one.
He disclosed that this was their 8th visit to Nigeria with Benue state being given special priority because of the ceaseless attacks on the people by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
In his speech, Managing Partner of US Nigeria Law Group, Barr Emma Ogebe, told the IDPs that he was one of them, a friend and a brother to Dr Williams in Christ, adding that with help from Lady Assumpta who was on ground in Nigeria to update him on the issue.
He said it was from the information gathered that he informed Dr William shortly after the attack on Igama community by the marauding herdsmen. Sporting a T-shirt that bore the famous Dr Martin Luther King inscription, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,” Ogebe said that the injustices in the community reverberated all the way to the USA.
Narrating about the deadly attack on behalf of the Internally Displaced Persons in the camp, the Chairman of Igama Community, Mr Gabriel Ejeh said; the well armed Fulani herdsmen came and invaded their community at about 7am of on Sunday, 12 June, 2022.
He said as that time, most people were preparing for Sunday services and they started shooting sporadically, killing everyone on sight, burning buildings, crops, animals and chanting ‘Allahu Akbar.’
The community leader added that more than 30 bodies were recovered and most of the structures in the community were completely burnt after the attack.
He thanked the humanitarian volunteers for their assistance, wishing them safe trip back to their base.
Earlier, Chairman of Ado LGA, Hon. Chief James Oche, represented by his Deputy, Hon Solomon Aboh, thanked Dr William, Barr Ogebe and other members of their entourage for coming and offering humanitarian assistance to the displaced people of Igama.
The Council chairman said that both the people of Okpokwu and Ado are all one people of Enone as anything that affects anyone of them affects all.
He assured that that Ado LGA council would be playing complementary roles in the maintenance of the IDP camp and involvement in the resettlement of their victims back to their ancestral homes at Igama at the appropriate time.
The Parish Priest of St.Agnes Mission Ogege of which Igama is an outstation, Rev. Fr Daniel Abba in his vote of thanks, appreciated Dr. Pst Williams and Barr Ogebe for showing love and compassion to his parishioners and other members of Igama community displaced by Fulani terrorists.
The Priest said that the visit has also availed them opportunity to see other challenges facing the community as even as he wished them safe journey back to their various destinations.
Dr William and Barr Ogebe also visited the 2nd Class Chief of Ado Local Council, the Ad’Ado, HRH Chief Joseph Otsikor Onazi Adadu as a mark of honour to the traditional authority, during which a lot of important issues were discussed.
Highlights of the visit were the distribution of food items such as Corn flour, palm oil etc to the displaced victims and identification of the number of buildings destroyed by the terrorists with a promise of assisting the people to rebuild them.
– Olikita Ekani is
Senior Special Assistant to Governor of Benue State on Media