Ijaws lick wounds as military invades communities in search of Tomopolo, militants

Posted by News Express | 18 January 2016 | 4,467 times

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Five communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Council, Delta State were invaded by the military yesterday morning. There was no direct explanation for their action.

But it was learnt that the soldiers invaded the communities in search of militants near the locations where pipelines were blown up.

Still, another account said the soldiers were a special unit dispatched to arrest wanted ex-militant leader Chief Government Ekpemupkolo, also known as Tompolo.

Strong condemnations from the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Niger Delta Youths Development Association (NYDA) have trailed the invasion.

The IYC spokesman, Gbaramatu Chapter, Godswill Doubra Wuruyai, while condemning the invasion said yesterday: “We see no reason why the military has decided to invade our community which has no record of being a hideout of militants in the region. We call for cessation of attacks from whoever is responsible.”

The invaded communities include Ikpokpo, Saghara, Opuedebubo, Okpeleama and Tebujo. Wuruyai said the invasion had led to the displacement of innocent men, women and children many of who suffered different degrees of injury and wanton destruction of their property.

“The invasion of the communities by the military due to militants attacks on pipelines across the region logically pinpoints Federal Government’s eagerness to invade Gbaramatu Kingdom under the guise of checking pipeline vandalism in the region.

“It is imperative to note that Ijaw communities are not the only communities in the Escravos vicinity and as such, should not be the only places the military should concentrate their alleged search,” Wuruyai said.

Similarly the Niger Delta Youths Development Association (NYDA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt what it called the harassment and intimidation of the Ijaw nation through the directive to EFCC to probe and prosecute Tompolo and former Director General of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Patrick Ziakede Akpoboloukemi.

In a statement issued by the NYDA yesterday in the United States by its president, Victor James, Chairman Delta State chapter, Amb. Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene Peter, Chairman, Akwa Ibom chapter, Marshal Ime, Chairman Rivers State chapter, Soboma Amachree and its spokesman, Gabriel Patterson Unyeowaji, the group stated: “President Buhari should not mistake our quietness, being law-abiding and peaceful as cowardice.

“Witch-hunting of our leaders is a fight against us. We shall not take it from him anymore. He is disturbing sleeping lions. No one has the monopoly of violence .We are of the opinion that unnecessary pressure should not be mounted on security agencies against our prominent leaders over a case that had been variously ruled on by courts in Nigeria , exonerating our leaders of the alleged offences. Buhari’s consistent disobedience of the rule of law and violation of human rights will not help Nigeria,” the group said.

•Adapted from a Guardian report. Photo shows Tompolo.

Source: News Express

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