The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, has frowned at the alleged occupation of the Nigerian military in Salvation City, Bennett Island in Warri South West LGA, Delta state, on the afternoon of April 12, 2020.
In a statement made available to GbaramatuVoice, Mayor Timi Ogobiri, the National acting Spokesman of the IPDI, said in Warri on April 12, that the group wholeheartedly condemned the military invasion of the area.
The group regretted and said that their areas could not continue to live this way, given that they have been losing members of their societies in the hands of military.
According to the group, “Our attention has been drawn to a military invasion and continued siege in Salvation City in Bennett Island in Warri South West LGA beginning from the afternoon of April 12, 2020 down to the night, when we are yet to recover from the unlawful killing of one Mr Danzu Michael in the same Bennett Island on the April 8, 2020.”
On how the military came to the Island, the group said, “We got a distress call from residents of the community, saying that the Nigerian Navy from NNS Delta WARRI came to the community and began to shoot randomly without any provocation and that every members of the community are scampering for safety and several children are missing in the community.”
On why the invasion happened, the group said, “The military alleged that members of the communities in the area were involved in the bunkering activities.
“But this is not a good reason to invade peaceful residents and kill people at will when same illegal mining is at its peak in the North.”
Condemning the act by the military, IPDI said, “It is sad that life has no value in the eyes of Nigerian security operatives. Salvation City is an ancient Ijaw fishing community. It has nothing to do with the bunkering activities in the area.
“The situation is tense as members of the community are scampering for safety. Chief Mamumamu, the eldest man in the community is locked up in his house by the Nigerian Navy.
“The Military is operating beyond its boundary. There is a serious human right violation. The community is subjected to torture and inhumane treatments.
Besides, the alleged people doing oil bunkering in the area is not enough reason to invade the law abiding community.
“There is serious illegal mining in the North, the Communities in such areas, non has been invaded or its citizens been killed or murdered indiscriminately.
“We are calling on the Commanding Officer of NNS Delta, to call his men to order. But if this nonsense continues we may be forced to seek for legal redress.”