In a press statement made available to Ejesgist News Ijaw Peoples development Initiative condemns the recent killing of soldiers in Bayelsa State.
The press release thus read:
IPDI CONDEMNS KILLING OF SOLDIERS IN BAYELSA ,BEGS OPERATION DELTA SAVE NOT TO INVADE ANY IJAW COMMUNITY OVER PIRATE ATTACKS, AS NO COMMUNITY EVER SEND PIRATE TO ATTACK MILITARY.
We condemn the killing of three soldiers in BAYELSA state by suspected pirates during the weekend. In no account military should be killed while on lawful duty. We sympathize with Nigeria military and the immediate families of the death soldiers.
However, we got a distress call from Bilabiri and Letugbene communities that soldiers visited their communities yesterday ,19th June, 2018 and warned that they should provide some purported suspects who are alleged to have hail from the two communities within 3days or else it will burn down the two communitycommunities , and out of fear residents are started deserting the two communities to near by bushes.
We are equally worry, whether the same military that has denied ever been attacked or its members been killed by suspected bandits that are still threatening to burn down law-abiding Ijaw communities?. If it is the same military, why this threat is still coming when no military personnel was killed?
It is imperative to note that no Ijaw community send pirates to kill soldier, and that burning such communities is a grave disservice to harmless cititizens of such communities. The military has a duty to protect innocent lives and properties in the country and not to burn their homes unlawfully.
The military should equally know that such bandits are even a big threat to their communities, and that is why communities are always providing useful information on whereabouts of bandits around such areas to the security outfits for onward actions. And however , such suspects don’t even reside in such communities. The manner at which the military operates in Ijaw communities appear as if the military is not created by law.
It is not a duty of harmless citizens to provide such highly placed suspects. Asking harmless citizens to produce such highly armed criminals is as well as asking such harmless citizens to go and commit suicide. As good citizens ,I know they will not hesitate to provide useful information that will lead to apprehending the suspects, if there is any.
It is pertinent to note that invading and burning of a community whether by the military or anybody is a serious criminal offense, especially on the instances that a suspected bandit is from a particular village or community, does not form basis why such communities should be invaded and burnt fown. There are more criminals hiding in the upland communities than that of our riverine communities. How many upland communities where they rob banks and carry out other high profile criminal deals have been invaded and burnt down?
It is our advice that the military should tread with caution, however no meaningful stakeholder will celebrate the sad event that has befall the military. We are sorry, yet we need to operate within the ambits of the law in unravelling the purported suspects ,because burning of community will not provide the suspects but will only cause more damage to law-abiding citizens in such communities.
Comrade Ozobo Austin
National president Ijaw Peoples development Initiative ,IPDI.