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 Fear grips Bayelsa community over looming military invasion

Fear grips Bayelsa community over looming military invasion


The people of Apoi Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State are in a state of panic over a looming military invasion following the killing of a soldier at the boundary of the community and neighbouring Azuzuama community.

BusinessDay gathered that the soldier was killed by hoodlums on Monday while he was on official duty with respect to a surveillance contract and took away his service rifle while the community leaders who broke the news have been working round the clock to identify those behind the gruesome act.

Meanwhile, the military has dispatched two gunboats to the community amidst a tense warning to the community to produce the killers or face invasion reminiscent of the 1998 Odi invasion and 2005 sacking of Odioma on the Atlantic Ocean.

Riverine communities in the state have suffered various degrees of destruction as a result of attacks on military personnel in the past few years, hence the growing apprehension by the villagers and pan-Ijaw groups, among others.

Jephter Keme, chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC) of Apoi Community, in a telephone interview said there is tension and they are restless. He said the community condemns the act, while the identity of the assailants was still unknown.

Keme disclosed that some villagers were already moving out to nearby communities over the fear of the looming military invasion and that they are working with the military by giving them all necessary information.

“We are under tension and as I speak with you, Apoi Community, we are restless and totally condemn the act,” he said.

The leadership of the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), Apoi Clan, has condemned the killing of the soldier, describing it as barbaric and inhumane.

Fidelis Duba, chairman, MOSIEND, Apoi Clan, called on hoodlums operating along the Apoi Creek and other areas to desist from such dastardly acts while assuring the security agencies that the clan would work with them to fish out the perpetrators of the violent killing.

When contacted on the development, the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Army, 16 Brigade, said efforts were on to reach out to the appropriate quarters to confirm the incident.

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