Avengers, Vandals: Military invades more Delta communities
…Scores of Villagers Still Missing, Says Mulade
By Our Correspondent
The Joint Military Task Force, codenamed ‘’Operations Pulo Shield’’, on the wee hours of Monday invaded more Ijaw communities in search of vandals and militants bombing oil and gas facilities in Delta State.
The communities include, Benikrukru, Kokodiagbene, Kurutie and Okerenkoko, all in Warri South West Council.
According to the JTF, the operations, named cordon and search, was aimed at unmasking the militants and vandals, who are perpetrating the heinous crimes, requesting the communities to produce them.
The communities bemoaned that the Army disguise in various manners to invade the communities, explaining that these tactics were worrisome, as criminal elements and political enemies of the communities could adopt the same operational modes to invade the communities and kidnap perceived enemies.
Residents said their lives were no longer safe, as they were subjected to untold hardship, adding that several number of people have not been accounted for since the ran into the bush and these include, students, elderly people and children.
‘’Their continuous visits are posing serious threats to the communities. We are living in bondage. Gbaramatu kingdom is hosts to oil and gas facilities and not to Avengers’’, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Chairman of Kokodiagbene community said.
Investigations show that the waterways have been blocked by the Army and the people are starving because they cannot go on fishing expedition and farming, their traditional occupations.
They also declared that the pipeline surveillance contracts were not awarded to the communities as the military is charged with such responsibility as such they should not be held accountable for vandalism.
They stated that they expect the military to man the pipeline routes to prevent further attacks rather than cozying up in well-furnished house boats.
‘’It is annoying to observe that within every 5 to 10 kilometer radius, there are security house boats and gun boats, yet illegal bunkering and vandalism are going on unabated. Who are they fooling?’’
The communities therefore appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Military High Command to withdraw the Army from the communities and station them on the pipeline routes as this was their primary responsibility and not invasion of communities to harass and intimidate innocent citizens, and expose them to danger in the bush they have ran into.