Lindo Creek COI hears from reputed wife of dredge owner
DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 9, 2018
An emotional Onica Butts took to the stand today at the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (COI), where she recounted the trauma she and her children endured following the death of her reputed husband, Dax Arokium.
Arokium was a third-year student at the University of Guyana (UG) pursuing engineering and the owner of the mining dredge at Lindo Creek, where eight miners were allegedly killed on June 21, 2008.
Butts recollected seeing Arokium on June 06, 2008 at her parent’s home, when he was preparing to travel to Lindo Creek. At that time, she was four months pregnant with her son. The couple had a three-year-old daughter, Ciara Arokium.
Butts said she last communicated with Arokium on the day he arrived at Kwakwani, as he awaited transportation into Lindo Creek and received the news on June 21, 2018, of his and his co-workers’ death. She said she did not believe the reports and further explained that due to the state of her pregnancy, Arokium’s family decided to withhold the details of his death and what transpired at the mining camp, from her.
She said that no one from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) contacted her and that following months of receiving very little information regarding her reputed husband’s death, she made the decision to visit the then Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee to seek answers. According to Butts, she was met with a “blank stare.” “That man did not utter a word to me,” she recalled. Butts was seven months pregnant at the time.
The family held a memorial service on June 28, 2008.
It was years later that the Lyken Funeral Parlour provided the family with information as to where Arokium was buried, after which they visited the location.
After the birth of her son, Dax Arokium Junior, Butts said the family was exposed to counselling. However, she pointed out to the fact that, the re-opening of the case has negatively impacted her son’s studies.
By: Synieka Thorne
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