Soldiers attack Rivers community, destroy properties

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Personnel of the Operation Delta Safe, an arm of the Nigerian Army have allegedly invaded and burnt down houses in the Kalaekuleama community, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State on Monday, July 29, 2019.

The invasion of the community and the sacking of some residents, it was learnt, followed the suspension of oil bunkering activities in the community.

Many residents of the community have called for an investigation into the incident.

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A chief in the area, Joel Asobari, told our correspondent that it was not true that the community was harbouring illegal oil bunkering operators and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.

He said the soldiers assaulted him and also shot indiscriminately in the community and sacked many of the residents.

Asobari added that the soldiers shot one fisherman from Akwa Ibom State, who was recording the operation.

He said, “We were in our house when the JTF men came in a gunboat and a speed boat. The boats were loaded with armed soldiers.

“When they came, they said the residents should vacate the community because they wanted to burn down the houses. They went into action without listening to our pleas and rendered us homeless.

“We are pleading with the government to come to our aid. We are now without clothes and are homeless.”

Asobari explained that despite pleas the soldiers burnt down the community, adding that the only school in the area was also affected.

“The only school that we built has been burnt to ashes; now, our children have no school again. We want the government to intervene and help us out,” he added.

Calls made to the coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Operation Delta Safe, Major Jonah Ohnua-Kalu, went unanswered.

Yetunde Adegoke

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