By Perez Brisibe
UTO-EWU — WOMEN of Uto-Ewu federated communities in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, have vowed to stay away from the 2019 general elections except the state government kick out rampaging herdsmen causing mayhem to the inhabitants and fix the impassable link road to their localities.
•Women of Uto-Ewu community of Ughelli South protesting against herdsmen attacks and the poor state of road to their communities. Photo: Perez Brisibe
The placard-carrying women, who warned that they would mobilise over 7,000 voters to hold back their votes, warned politicians to stay away from their communities and discontinue using them to score cheap political points.
Siege to Ohoror/Bomadi Road
Enraged Uto-Ewu women, who protested on the Ohoror /Bomadi Road last Monday as they did in 2017, preventing the governor from passing the Uto Junction axis to inspect the Udopphori Road, accused him of failing to keep to his promise to them a year ago.
‘We don’t want herdsmen in our communities’
They carried placards, some of which bore various inscriptions, “No Road, No Election”, “Okowa, do our road” and “We do not want herdsmen in our communities” fuming that despite that the remains of three male villagers slaughtered by herdsmen were still in the mortuary, the herdsmen had the impudence to return to the communities with their herd.
Our grouse, by protesting women
Speaking on behalf of the women, one of their leaders, Florence Itule, said, “We came out here, last year, when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was passing and addressed us claiming that he is unaware of the state of the road and promised to input it in the 2019 budget.”
“But information at our disposal has it that the road is not captured in the budget. Unfortunately, for us, we were privy to have a peep into the 2019 Appropriation Bill only to discover that they excluded our road project. They abandoned the road since 1978 it was opened up,” she added
Itule asserted: “We have also been suffering attacks from herdsmen, who with the advent of the dry season have started returning with their herd. This is coupled with the fact that we lack political representation aside councilor.”
Odd flood experience
Regarding to recent flood, she lamented that flood cut off the people and victims could not access the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps established by the state government for temporal succor.
They accused the committee set up by the state government of being intolerant to their plight during the ravaging flood, alleging that displaced persons from all six communities in the area only got a bag of rice from government while the flood lasted.
PG, councilor intervene
President General, Uto-Ewu Development Union, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe and councilor representing the area, Andrew Arhiavwarien, pacified the women after some hours and entreated them to lift the siege and arrangements made to evacuate them back to their respective communities.
Addressing the women, Egedegbe and Arhiavwarien noted that the community lacks government presence since 1999, saying they have continued to suffer neglect from the government, especially during the raining seasons added to the nauseating activities of herdsmen in the area.