The people of Ikpo-gbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West LGA of Delta State have on Saturday accused Nigerian Navy of Invading their Community.
They alleged that Nigerian Navy came to test their newly donated guns on them for no reason.
The Nigerian Navy had on Friday, (April 1, 2022) commenced what is evidently its biggest operation aimed at putting an end to oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger Delta, with the deployment of 40 ships, five helicopters and 200 boats for “Operation Dakatar Da Barawo” (stop the thief) across the region.
However, the Community which called on the Delta State Government and President Muhammadu Buhari to come to their aid on the military attack, noted that Nigerian Navy on Saturday 2nd of April 2022, entered into their Community and started shooting sporadically.
The chairman of the community, Mr. Peres Afro Oyakonghan said that two Navy gun boats came into their community and started shooting at them.
“It happened all of a sudden, two Navy gun boats came into our community at about 12-1 pm, on. Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 and started shooting at us, after their usual patrol in destruction of illegal oil bunkery sites.
“The shooting was so strong that women, children, and age men started running for safety.
“As a community, we were surprised, this is a community in Gbaramatu Kingdom and we are majorly fishermen and women. So coming to shoot at us is another way of creating tension in the creek and this can escalate unnecessary tension in the region” Oyadongha concluded.
A community leader, Mr. Lucky said:
this is the third time they are experiencing the unwanted harassment in the community.
“This is the third time we are experiencing this unwanted harassment in our peaceful community, it seems the Nigerian Navy came to test their newly donated guns on us, for no reason, and we’re calling on the State Government and the Federal Government to caution the fight on oil theft to the high sea not on innocent communities in the creeks that doing Petty trade as fishermen and women” he stated.
Meanwhile, the community youth leader Pst. Samuel Tuade Said, “what happened on the 2nd of April is unimaginable, this act of military invasion if not tread with caution it will escalate to another form of insecurity threat to the peaceful coastal communities.
“I want to appeal to the authorities to desist from molesting our youths, women, in the name of alleged oil theft to perpetrate their atrocities by causing economic hardship in our community. we can’t move freely for our fishing occupation on the waterways” he added.