Bayelsa indigenes flee homes over fear of military invasion
Take refuge in forests, neighbouring communities
Indigenes of Bilabiri 1 Community in Ekeremor Local Council of Bayelsa State have fled their homes over fear of military invasion following the attack on Tunu flow-station and the subsequent killing of three soldiers in a bloody shoot-out.
Many have taken refuge in the forests and neighbouring communities.
The Guardian learnt that schools and other economic and social activities have been forced to shut down just as the community has been deserted. This has made the leadership of the community to make a passionate appeal to men of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) not to invade the community.
Sources said one of the wounded sea pirates had in a confessional statement before he died alleged that some of his accomplices were from Bilabiri 1 community.
Paramount Ruler of Bilabiri 1 Community, His Royal Highness, Miebiotu Otidi and the Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Mr. Timipamine Otiti, in a statement yesterday, said the military authorities had tasked the community to fish out the hoodlums or risk military action.
The leaders, who described the attack on the military personnel as regrettable, pleadeded with the military authorities to spare the community of any military action, saying the perpetrators were hoodlums who do not reside in the community. He also stated that the people of the community do not know their identity.
The statement said: “They said some of perpetrators are from Bilabiri 1 community but we do not know them as they do not reside in our community because of their criminal activities. “We are appealing to the military authorities not to invade our community for the sake of innocent people, particularly our women and children.
“As a community, we will co-operate with security agencies and offer useful information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of those behind the dastardly act if they are identified in the community.”
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