•11 killed, houses razed in Igbomaturu community


From Femi Folaranmi,  Yenagoa

Eleven people were feared dead as soldiers onboard five gunboats, yesterday morning,  invaded Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, as part of operations to apprehend the killers of 16 soldiers in Okuama community.

Investigations revealed that the troops, who also razed three houses, were in search of an Ijaw militant leader identified as Amagbe, whose boys were said to be behind the killing.

A community source, Mr Ayibakripriye Solomon Suobo, said the military stormed the community, shooting sporadically on community folks who were relaxing at the jetty before proceeding to set ablaze the three buildings suspected to be the hideout of the said militant leader.

He said the community has been able to recover 11 dead bodies from the attack, while many others were unaccounted.

He said: “The military invasion has affected the people gravely. Lives have been lost, properties have been destroyed. Even after the attack, I am sure that life in that community can never be the same. This weekend was scheduled for the burial of one of my late uncles. We have paid for food, drinks, music, speedboat and canopies. And now, because of this, the burial can no longer hold.

“In fact, some of the people we have paid money to are saying that if the date would be changed, then we would have to pay extra money. Is that not a huge loss? So, we would have to start looking for more money, that is if there will ever be peace in the community. I am appealing to the Federal and State Government to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in this matter. We do not have a hand in whatever transpired in Delta State. The international community should come to our aid.

“I am calling on all security chiefs in Nigeria to, please, kindly intervene to save lives and property in Igbomotoru 2 community, which started about 8am this morning. Information reaching me as the CTC member representing the good and peaceful of Igbomotoru Ward 6 is very unpleasant. The military is a very trained organisation, whose responsibility is to defend its citizens rather than destroy them.”