There are many factors that affect news organisation’s selection of news. While many considers the size of the community it serves, others look for humorous stories; anything that will make the audience laugh, and then report straightforward events; fires, storms, earthquakes and assassinations; partly because such dramatic events are easy to recognise and report.
Read also: MYSTERIOUS DEATHS: UTE-OKPU MONARCH, RESIDENTS HOLD PRAYER MEETING
But under the present circumstance, Ika Weekly Newspaper, features these editorial comments not in consideration of any of the above factors but to sincerely condole with the people of Ute Okpu and Idumuesah communities, two sleepy but egalitarian communities in Ika North East Local Government of Delta State, where over fifty five lives were reportedly lost since the last two weeks ago and still counting, occasioned by what the Delta State Government described as an outbreak of yellow fever.
Making the clarification during a joint press briefing organised by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye and the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu at the Ministry of Information headquarters, Asaba, Dr Ononye said that after a thorough investigations and tastings carried out by his ministry, initial results indicated that the deaths were caused by a resurgence of Yellow fever virus.
Indeed, while the Ika Weekly Newspaper sends its condolence, the Publisher, Mr. Steve Ashien, members of the editorial board and of course the entire staff of the news organizations are particularly pained that the recorded deaths involved more of innocents youths in the community that would have provided future leadership of the community, the State and the nation as a whole.
This is indeed tragic and a pain deepened by the fact that it was avoidable.
As we continue to pray for their peaceful repose of the departed, and God’s consolation to the people they left behind to mourn their demise, it is of considerable importance for all, particularly the Local and State Governments to become creatively more proactive to the affairs of Deltans especially those in the rural communities.
In as much as the present temperature in the locality may not give us the luxury to start apportioning blames, the truth must be told to the fact the management of the Ika North East Local Government Area and the State Government visibly even before neglected the community. They in some ways failed the people and abandoned the community.
The truth speaks for itself.
Just few days before the reported outbreak of the ‘Epidemic’, we, in one of our most recent editions, edition 187 to be specific reported how His Royal Majesty, Obi Pastor Solomon Chukwuka I, the Obi of Ute-Okpu Kingdom, while speaking at his palace on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 pleaded with the Governor of Delta State, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi A. Okowa to reciprocate the kind gesture of Ute Kingdom on his re-election bid, by coming to help tar the road that leads to his Royal palace in Ute-Okpu community in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State.
He was not alone in that regrets as Mr. Ewere C. Awulor, a Political Scientist and International Relation Expert and an indigene of Ute-Okpu, also told our reporter that he always feels bad whenever he remembers how members of Ute-Okpu community defiled the rain and sun to ensure that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was re-elected, but the Governor has failed to give them good roads.
Mrs. Felicia, a business woman trading along the palace road, in an interview with our correspondent also appealed to Delta State Government to come to their aid by fixing their roads and empowering the people of Ute kingdom. She asserted that ever since 2019 when the palace road became very bad, business has not been moving as before.
Though the yellow fever may be described as ‘an act of God’ lack of infrastructure is a man made ‘epidemic’. And greater challenge is that Ute-Okpu and Idumuesah are examples of the many communities that are infrastructurally deprived.