IYC demands withdrawal of military from community
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has demanded the withdrawal of military from Toru-Ndoro community in Bayelsa State.
A statement by its President, Eric Omare, said the IYC received distress calls from the residents that the military invaded and burnt down over 50 houses in the community.
It was learnt that the military invasion followed the beheading of a security operative in the community. The victim was said to have gone to the community on a peace mission when he was hacked down.
Omare condemned the beheading of the security operative and pledged support for efforts to bring the perpetrators to book.
He, however, said it was extremely wrong for security agents to have invaded and burnt down an entire community in the course of their search for criminals.
The statement reads: “Similar invasions had happened in other Niger Delta communities as Odi in Bayelsa State, Ajapa in Ondo State, Ajakarama in Delta State and now Toru-Ndoro in Bayelsa State.
“We demand that the few persons who are involved in criminality should be separated from the rest of the community and made to face the full weight of the law. Unfortunately, residents of these communities are also often the first victims of these criminal elements.
The statement said the whereabouts of an ex-militant from Ogulagha community in Delta State, Mr. Bonny Gawei was still unknown. He was said to have accompanied the beheaded security operative to Ndoro to find a peaceful solution.
Omare added: “The IYC, the Ijaw nation in particular and the Niger Delta in general do not support the activities of the few criminal elements.
“But, the entire community must not be made to suffer for the crimes of a few persons. If these were to be the situation, then all the communities in the northeast where the Boko Haram had invaded would have been burnt down.”
The IYC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the minister of defence, the chief of army staff and the commander of Operation Delta Safe to stop the ongoing invasion, as efforts are being made to arrest the culprits.
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