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Refugees In Forest: ‘We’re Farmers, Not Oil Bunkerers,’ Okuama Residents Cry Out

Posted by Samuel on Sat 06th Apr, 2024 - tori.ng

Michael, father of six children, among those hiding in the forest, said if the government makes its findings, it will find out the Okuama community has no oil bunkerers.

Okuama residents

Bernard Michael, one of the refugees in Okuama forest in Delta State, has stated that the residents of his community are farmers and do not participate in oil bunkering activities.

Michael, father of six children, among those hiding in the forest, said if the government makes its findings, it will find out the Okuama community has no oil bunkerers.

He said this in exclusive interviews that Okuama residents had with Vanguard in the forests since the incidents in which some assailants murdered 17 military personnel last month.

Michael said, “We are in the bush here, today, because one Ijaw man brought soldiers to our town when I was on my farm.

“So I came home, they were asking after our chairman. The chairman then came from the farm and we entertained them and they said they came for peace.

“However, later, they insisted that they would go with the chairman. The women refused, and soldiers started shooting and people scattered.

“Some boats later came to attack the soldiers and our people. It is a lie that we have oil in our community. We do not do bunkering.

“If the government uses every piece of equipment to dig our ground, they cannot see anything concerning oil bunkering.

“Amagbein is not from our community, we do not know anyone like that, and we have not heard that name in our community.

“Our children are out of school and we are suffering so much in the bush. We have nothing to eat in the bush; we eat wild fruits here and sleep on the grass.

“I am with all my kids and my wife, I did not lose anyone, but they have destroyed our houses and everything I have in the community, except this shirt, and shorts I am wearing.

“My appeal to the government is that they should allow us to go back home as we do not even know when we will go back. The soldiers are occupying our community now.”



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