Hundreds of wailing residents of
Enekorogha, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, on Friday,
held a mournful procession, lamenting that the ‘angels’ sent to rescue
them from diseases and death have been killed and chased away.
They therefore, called on the Federal
and State Governments to save them from avoidable deaths and the
possible invasion of the community by remnants of the arrested
Militants, who kidnapped the Britons, early October.
The procession, comprising of women,
men, children, youths, and the aged, all clad in black attires, also
called on security agents to effect the arrest of the leader of the
kidnappers, one Karuwi, who is currently at large.
The protesters, armed with placards with
varying inscriptions on their grievances, said the death of British
Missionary, Dr Ian Squire, in the hands of his abductors, and the return
of his colleagues to the United Kingdom after their release, was a
setback to the community.
The leader of Enekorogha once-bubbling
community, Comrade Michael Ogobiri, who led the procession of mourners
to the house of Dr Squire, where he lived with his colleagues, said the
absence of the Britons was a minus to the well being of the community.
According to him, with the Clinic
established by Dr David Donavan, at a standstill now, the health of the
villagers are at grave danger, as the nearest medical facility to the
community is at Bomadi, some two hours drive.
“Dr Ian’s death is a
painful death to the entire community. We are at risk of common
diseases, God was using the white men to save us from.
“Here, there is no health center. We
have to cross the river and board a bike to Bomadi, for medical
attention. Their absence means we are in grave danger.
“We are not happy about their death. Wea
re mourning his death, that is why we are sending a message to his
family and the crew members.
“They’ have been helping us in terms of medical care for children, women, aged in all the villages.
“We want the world to know that we are against what happened to the Britons. Were totally against it. It is a great loss to us.
“The death has led to the closure of the clinic. Everything is shut down. The loss of Ian is pain to us.
“We want security agents to ensure that Karuwi is brought to book. If Karuwi still exists, then we are not safe.
That means other foreigners who may want to come and assist us will not come, because of Karuwi”, Prince Ogobiri lamented.
Other women, elders, and children, who
spoke to Tribune Online, during the procession, also lamented the death
of Dr. Ian, and the return of the other crew members to the UK.
They described the exit of Dr. Ian, Dr.
Donavan, and the foundation crew from the community, as loss of a great
gift from God to the community, calling on the missionary foundation to
return to the community.
“They are a gift to us from God, and
somebody from nowhere has come to kidnap that blessing from us”, an
elderly man in the village enthused.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the
deceased and other crew members of the foundation, had earlier rejected
the local security provided by the community, on the ground that there
was no need for it.
“We had set up a local vigilante for
them before, but they rejected it, because they said they believed in
God and they are missionaries.
“We never believed such could happen. They have been here since 2007.
“They came this time to sensitise communities on free eye clinic, coming next February”, Comrade Ogobiri further disclosed.
The Britons, David Donovan, his wife
Shirley, and Alanna Carson as well as Dr. Ian, were in Nigeria to offer
cataract operations and eye check-ups to people of the Ijaw community.
As of October 13, when they were
kidnapped, 100 patients were said to have been penciled in for cataract
operation, next February, while four indigenes of the community had been
trained abroad to compliment efforts of the mmissionaries.
It will be recalled that one of the
suspected kidnappers was killed in Sapele, during a shootout with
Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response
Team, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, while two
others were arrested from Warri, last Wednesday.