IYC Seeks Probe Of Military Invasion, Reprisal Attack On Bayelsa Community

The President of Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), Worldwide, Sir Jonathan Lokpobiri, has called for the immediate probe into the alleged killings of indigenes of Igbomotoru community by Military personnel over the death of some its officers and men in Delta State recently.

Lokpobiri sympathized with the Nigerian Army over the killing of its personnel and seek justice on the reprisal attack carried out by the military in Igbomotoru community, describing it as double jeopardy for the Ijaw people, that faced its hostile neighbours, and also have to bear heavy burden of having another Odi experience in Igbomotoru community.

Lokpobiri, stated this in Yenagoa, while briefing newsmen, on account of the Okuama crises in Delta State, that has now snowballed to the attack on Igbomotoru community in Bayelsa State by military men.

“I can’t describe the level of pains on the Military and the families of the slain officers and soldiers. The killing in Delta, is not just sensitive but a big issue, and a very sad and ugly development in the history of our region. What has happened in Delta state is as sad as it is, we weren’t expecting that we will bear the greatest brunt of the conflict. Where a whole community is sacked and bodies of our young men and women are littered on the streets of Igbomotoru community and also floating on the river Nun”, he said.

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“If independent investigations reveals that people from that community do not play a role in the death of the Military officers and men, and based on just information without proper investigations and reprisal attack on our communities leading to death of dozens of persons and destruction of properties worth of hundreds of naira, we will sue the federal government, so that adequate compensation can be paid to the community people. I demand a probe into the invasion of Igbomotoru community, reason been that in Niger Delta we have seen cases when people are accused of various crimes they know nothing about, whilst am not disproving the evidence that maybe available to the Military, I demand some strong level of deep investigation into the scenero”, he added.

He urged the leaders of the country and of the state to conduct certain level of independent investigation in order to know what has led to the killing and sacking of a whole community. And many of our people who were escaping into the forest were hit by bullets, because they were indiscriminate shooting of anyone at sight. We can’t adopt this method in resolving dispute.

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“For Ijaw people this is completely unacceptable, and that did not take away our grief as a people saddened by this development that has led to the untimely death of Nigerians who are in active service providing security and peaceful environment for our region, but when an individual or few individuals commit crimes I think the natural things to do is to be selective in the justice that is meted out. Not everybody was involved, and it wasn’t an organized crime by the community. So I can not agree that a whole community will be wiped out, including innocent people who had nothing to benefit from the crime will be killed. A nation where people that are law abiding are sometimes punished even before the criminals is highly unacceptable”, he stated.

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Lokpobiri requested for a probe into the killings in Bayelsa. Admonition to communities not to tolerate people who are outlaws living in the community because it could pose serious danger for peace and security in the community. The Military which is saddled with the responsibility of enforcing external and sometimes internal security issues when terrorists related offences are committed can not be on rampage were their own actions is also as evil as the perpetrators of this crime against the state.

By Owunna Goodness, Bayelsa