Tension in Delta as soldiers guarding oil export terminal kill youth
Forcados Oil Export Terminal in Ogulagha community, Warri South-West Council, Delta State, is again under threat as angry youths plan to attack the facility following the killing of a youth by soldiers attached to the terminal.
The deceased, identified as Endurance Oweiye Kalaepele, was shot dead as he attempted to escape when soldiers guarding the terminal accosted him and five others about 10 p.m. on Monday night near an abandoned oil flow station owned by Agip Oil.
A community leader in the community, Chief Francis Bomiebi, narrated the circumstances that led to the killing of Kalaepele, saying: “There is an abandoned flow station belonging to Agip in the community. The facility has been vandalised repeatedly. So soldiers were stationed around the area to guard it. About 10 p.m., soldiers saw some youths in the area and stopped them for questioning, but one of the youths took to his heels and attempted to escape. One of the soldiers shot him twice and he fell. He was rushed to the cottage hospital in Ogulagha where he was confirmed dead.”
He claimed the soldiers took the corpse of the deceased to a police station in the community and dumped it there, instead of taking it to the mortuary.
According to Bomiebi, youths became restive and stormed the police station and tried to burn it down but when the policemen began shooting warning shots the protesting youths left with the corpse of the deceased and marched round the community.
He said they marched to the house of the community chairman with the corpse and vandalised his two vehicles, adding that efforts by Ogulagha Police divisional police officer to calm the youths was unheeded. They claimed the deceased and his friends didn’t vandalise the facility but were hunting for snail when the soldiers accosted them, thinking they were vandals and shot the deceased.
The youth president of the community, ThankGod Iyaragba, said: “Around 10:00p.m, yesterday (Monday), six of the community boys went to the bush behind Forcadoes Terminal, the pipeline bush, for snail picking, but were intercepted on their way back by the military men.
“One of the boys, Endurance, tried to run out of fear, but was shot twice at close range. This infuriated youths of the community, who on the rampage, destroying company vehicles and property.
“They have also taken over major roads in the community to express their anger,” he said. When contacted, a senior army officer at the 3 Amphibious Battalion, Effurun, said they had not been authorised to comment on the matter.