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Ijaw National Congress alleges extrajudicial killings by Nigerian army

By admin Mar 25, 2024
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The Ijaw National Congress, INC, has raised allegations of extrajudicial killings by the Nigerian military in Egbemotoru community, Bayelsa State.

Speaking during a programme on Arise Television on Sunday, the President of the Ijaw National Council, Professor Benjamin Okaba, disclosed that the criminals responsible for the recent killing of seventeen military officers in Delta State have fled the area, leaving innocent civilians in the communities to bear the brunt of their actions.

According to Professor Okaba, residents of Egbemotoru in Bayelsa State reached out to him, seeking intervention as the military allegedly conducted operations resulting in the deaths of over eighty individuals in the community.

He lamented that the victims were unsuspecting civilians gathered near the jetty.

“There is no doubt about it that there have been some extrajudicial killings, mostly affecting persons who are actually innocent.

“Because in situations like this, the criminals do exactly what they want to do, and they are also aware that in no distant time, they will be attacked, so, they will usually flee the community and allow the vulnerable, the young, the old to be so affected.

”That’s actually the situation in Okuama community in Delta State.

“The reprisals in Egbemotoru, for that, I even got a letter from the community complaining and even seeking our intervention.

“In that letter, they stated that over eighty persons were murdered. They were unsuspecting civilians who were just by the jetty, not suspecting any at all, and the next thing, they saw six gunboats and thought it was the usual patrols because they had some critical oil facilities in that area.

“Before they knew what was going on, they heard gunshots and several persons were gunned down.

Professor Okaba further highlighted that the people of Egbemotoru are currently besieged by the Nigerian military, facing severe shortages of food and water, among other basic necessities.

He warned that if the situation persists without intervention within the next forty-eight hours, there could be more casualties.

“It is not easy, people are so psychologically battered, that I don’t think that returning back to Okuama, or Okoloba or those communities that were very so affected and terrorized will be a matter of the next fourteen days.

“For the Egbemotoru community, the report we got a few hours ago still indicates that the people are under siege, with no access from outside and those within the community.”

Expressing concern over potential disease outbreaks, Professor Okaba noted that the only available water source for the people of Egbemotoru is contaminated with dead bodies.

He clarified that the conflict does not involve the Ijaw and Urhobo nations but rather stems from disputes over land ownership between communities from both ethnic groups.

Communities affected by the reprisal attacks from the military include Okuama, Okoloba, and Okuaba in Delta State, as well as Egbemotoru in Bayelsa State.

By admin

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