The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned the weekend military invasion of the headquarters of Gbaramatu Clan in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Ijaw group called on Nigerians and the international community to urgently prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the military to vacate Oporoza community to allow the residents have access to medical care and foods in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
In statement by its spokesman Eric Omare, the group said that the military invasion of Oporoza which is the hometown of former Niger Delta warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, is still under military siege two days after the military invasion of the community.
Mr. Omare said as at the time of issuing the statement, no person is allowed to move in and out of Oporoza community by the rampaging soldiers.
He said a 40 horse power speed boat which came to rescue residents in serious medical condition was seriously attacked by the military and the state of the persons that were inside the boat are still unknown.
The IYC said the people of Oporoza are now in a state of famine and even those that were brutalized cannot get access to medical care adding that If urgent steps are not taken, there may be massive death arising from the famine and brutalization.
The IYC strongly condemned the display of brutalization of innocent residents of Oporoza Community.
The Nigerian Army on Saturday invaded Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta state reportedly in search of members of the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers who have been committing havoc on oil installations in the delta.
Sources say that the alleged invasion however led to serious turmoil in the community as soldiers, who arrived the community in about eight gunboats around 1: 45pm shot sporadically all through the night.
It is reported that while the soldiers were allegedly carrying out the raid on Gbaramatu Kingdom, members of the Delta Avengers were in Bayelsa carrying out multiple attack on oil installations belonging to Shell and Agip.
Another group, Niger Delta Security Watch Organization of Nigeria has told the chief of army staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai that deploying troops to Gbaramatu Kingdom to pummel the locals and cause serious trauma on them is an act of cowardice.
President of the group, Barrister Dickson Bekederemo, in a statement condemned the military invasion of the community said “We condemn, in strong term, the callous invasion and destruction of lives and properties in Oporoza community in Gbaramatu Kingdom by the Nigerian Army.
“It is a known fact, even to the Nigeria Security Agencies ,that militant groups do not establish camps in communities. They build and settle in camps in isolated locations.
“No known ex-agitators from Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Tom Atake, Tompolo, Commander Egbema 1, Farra, Egberipapa to Shoot at sight sited camps in or around communities.
“The Nigerian Army ought to go after the Avengers and confront them in gun battle at their camps. It is an act of cowardice for the Nigeria Army to attack soft target. Does a sleeping community like Oporoza look like Avengers’ camp to Major-General Tukur Buratai ?
“What the Nigerian army did in Oporoza community is not different from the operational pattern of the blood tasty Boko haram that targeted and killed soft targets in order make a senseless and stupid statement.
“The NIGER-DELTA Avengers has consistently claimed that they bombed most of the pipelines in the presence of the Nigeria Army.
“We expected them to have engaged the Avengers in gun battle from there and even captured some of them, instead like Boko haram, they left the Avengers unchallenged to destroy pipelines and thereafter, went after innocent villagers.
“This is the same war tactics of Boko haram and we condemn it in entirety.
“We wish to inform President Buhari that violence and intimidation of the Innocent law abiding citizens within conflicts zone, can not by any stretch of imagination curb a justifiable agitation.
“The President should, as a matter of urgency, address the vexed issues in the Niger Delta that always trigger militancy. No amount of military attacks on soft targets that can curb the agitation.
“Those that will benefit from this callous act are the Avengers whose camps will now witness surge of able young men in quest to also avenge what the Nigerian army did to their family members.”