Succour came the way of the residents of Ajapa Riverine Community in Ese-Odo local government area of Ondo State as the state government at the weekend donated relief materials worth N25 million to victims, whose property were destroyed as a result of a clash between soldiers and militants in the community.
It will be recalled that around May this year, men of the Nigerian Army, under Operation Delta Safe invaded Ajapa, following the killing of a soldier by suspected militants.
Since the invasion, residents of the community have been counting their loses.
The relief materials include iron sheets, nails, asbestos, mattresses, bags of rice, bags of garri, cartoons of vegetable oil among others.
The Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, while donating the materials
charged residents of the community to contribute their quota to the task of improving the state security.
Akeredolu, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, also frowned on how soldiers rendered the people homeless.
He however said the people will be doing themselves a great service by reporting people of suspicious character to appropriate authorities.
The governor advised the community to guard against the reoccurrence of another army invasion by flushing out criminals as well as their collaborators from the nooks and crannies of Ese-Odo local government area.
He however clarified that the relief materials are not meant for people hellbent on disrupting the economy and security of the state but peace-loving individuals whose properties were damaged when troops of the Nigerian Army came to town in pursuit of fleeing bandits.
The paramount traditional ruler of the community, the Eginabou of Ajapa, High Chief Titus Ekikei commended the state government for the gesture despite the prevalent economic situation.
He said the relief materials will go a long way in assisting the people to resume their normal lives after the trying moments.
Another community leader who is equally a retired commissioner of police, Mr Tonye Ebitibituwa charged parents and guardians to be more alive to their responsibility of nurturing upcoming generation into responsible citizens.
He bemoaned the recent upsurge in criminal activities along the coastline even as he described gangsterism and other forms of crime as alien to the people.