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Etche is a Local Government Area (LGA) in Rivers State, Nigeria, named after the Etche ( Echie) people of Southern Nigeria. They also inhabit Omuma LGA; Etche/Omuma is a National Assembly constituency.
Etche communities include Akwu/Obuor, Chokocho, Chokota, Egwi, Afara, Mba, Ikwerengwo, Okehi, Ulakwo, Umuakonu, Umuebulu, Umuechem, egbeke Igbodo the ancestral home of Etche (Igbodo is made up o the following communities; Umuohiaukwu, Umuusharam, Umuoga, Okonocho, Umuine, Umudi, Umunkwa, Umuohie, Amaku, Obibi, Ezeleaka, Umuisi].
In 1999 there were about 600,000 Etche people, forming the fourth largest ethnic group in Rivers State, mostly engaged in agriculture. Cassava and yam are important crops. The use of tractors for farming these crops has dropped slightly in the 1986–2004 period. The Shell Petroleum Development Company has funded a cassava processing mill at Umuebulu, and in 2000 provided training to local women in operation and management of the mill. Palm oil production by smallholders is a significant part of the economy.
In October 1990, a demonstration was held in Umuechem, Etche to demand social amenities and compensation for oil pollution. State security agents reacted with teargas and gunfire. 50 people died and about 550 houses were destroyed. The April 2003 national elections were marked by serious violence and intimidation in the Etche LGA, seriously compromising the free voters process. In a 2007 report, Human Rights Watch said that "in recent years Etche has earned a degree of unwelcome notoriety due to allegations of corruption, thuggery and murder leveled against its current chairman." The report stated that health and education facilities were in an advanced state of physical decay, with funds allocated for staffing and renovation being diverted for other purposes. In January 2009 the Etche legislative council impeached three of their members for "irrational and unconscionable behaviour, gross misconduct, misappropriation of legislative fund and abuse of office."
A training camp for ex-militants was established in Okehi in Etche LGA, teaching skills such as welding and fabrication, fitting, seafaring/marine, business and commerce and so on. In October 2009, 200 of the students demanded their allowances, threatening to return to the creeks to cause havoc if unpaid.
- Patrick Naagbanton (April 2, 1999). "SHELL'S TOXIC WAR AGAINST UMUAKURU-IGBO PEOPLE". ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION (ERA). Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- S.O. Nkakini; M.J. Ayotamuno; S.O.T. Ogaji; S.D. Probert (6 June 2006). "Farm mechanization leading to more effective energy-utilizations for cassava and yam cultivations in Rivers State, Nigeria". Applied Energy. Elsevier. 83: 1317–1325. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2006.03.001. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
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- Adebola Babatunde Ekanola. "Terror Techniques in the Niger Delta and the Question of Justice" (PDF). Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (Volume 9, No.2, 2007). ISSN 1520-5509. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "Report on Electoral Violence in the South South following the April 12th Senate and House of Representatives Elections". Idasa. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- ""Chop Fine" Impact of Local Government Corruption and Mismanagement on Primary Education and Primary Health Care in Rivers State" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. January 30, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Amadi Gilbert (January 25, 2009). "Etche Legislators Impeach Three Councilors". National Network. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Godfrey Azubike (14 October 2009). "Militants Threaten To Rock the Boat". NewsWatch. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Amadi Gilbert (August 23, 2009). "Etche LGA Gets Marriage Registration Centre". National Network. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "NDDC Takes Free Healthcare to LG". This Day. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-15.