Former IYC president condemns ‘military invasion’ of Ondo community
…Military Explains, Says It Was To Rid Community Of Shrines, Criminal Hideouts
Former President of Ijaw Youth Congress and Secretary, Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Oil Facility Vandalisation, Dr Chris Ekiyor yesterday condemned the recent sacking of Ajakpa community in Ese-Odo local government area of state after the killing of a notorious criminal, Ossy Ibori and 15 of his gang while three soldiers were reportedly killed and others wounded in the operation.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Ekiyor said such action by the military was capable of eroding “the trust which we struggled to build across the Niger Delta.” He described the military action as genocide and called on the federal government to intervene.
“There are a lot of criminals in Lagos, the entire Lagos has not been burnt down, many places where criminals are operating from, the places have not been burnt down, that this same criminal attacked Ijaw sons and daughters and they stood against him, and in this operation against the criminal, Ijaw sons and daughters have supported the military to provide information. No Niger Delta community is in support of any criminality. To burn a community with women and children because one man was a killer is to say that you have invoked Sodom and Gomorrah on us,” he said.
However, military authorities have explained the invasion and destruction of what they described as ‘shrines and militants hideouts’ in said community. At a press briefing held yesterday, Real Admiral Apochi Suleiman, said there was no iota of truth in the propaganda being circulated that they destroyed the community.
Apochi said what they were doing was a ‘clearance operation’ aimed at clearing the shrines, hideouts, identified militant camps and other shanties used as safe haven by militant groups led by the notorious militant kingpin, late Ossy Ibori who was killed in a special operation last week. The Commander warned that those who sponsor, collaborate, protect or cohabit with criminals have lost their immunity and the Military will go after them.
He further explained that the briefing became necessary so as to update the public on their recent exploit to protect the oil and gas infrastructure and rid joint operation area of crude oil theft, militancy, kidnappings and other criminalities.