Bayelsa indigenes flee homes over fear of ‘military invasion’

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Many indigenes of Bilabiri 1 Community in Ekeremor Local Council of Bayelsa State have reportedly fled their homes for fear of military invasion.

This followed the recent attack on Tunu flow-station and the killing of three soldiers in a shoot out with militants.

The indigenes have sought refuge in forests and neighbouring communities, while schools and other economic activities have been shut down.

In reaction, the community has appealed to the Nigerian Army not to attack innocent citizens.

Paramount Ruler of Bilabiri 1 Community, His Royal Highness, Miebiotu Otidi and the Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Mr. Timipamine Otiti, appealed to men of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) to tread with caution.

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A statement he signed on Tuesday, disclosed that the military authorities had asked the community to fish out the hoodlums or risk action.

But the monarch, while lamenting the death of the soldiers, explained that people of the community do not know the identity of the militants.

The statement read in part: “They (military) said some of the perpetrators are from Bilabiri 1 community but we do not know them as they do not reside in our community because of their criminal activities.

“We are appealing to the military authorities not to invade our community for the sake of innocent people, particularly our women and children.

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“As a community, we will co-operate with security agencies and offer useful information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of those behind the dastardly act if they are identified in the community.”

 

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