-We didn’t burn houses but curbing Bayelsa for our missing personnel
By Ebi Jones
The Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, has comdemned the invasion of Azagbene Community in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State by the the military Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe on July 23.
In a press briefing made available to GbaramatuVoice the same day by the National President of CHURAC, Cleric E. Alaowei, Esq, stated that the invasion was aftermath of alleged attack on a military houseboat by some hoodlums in the area.
The group condemned the alleged attack by hoodlums but reiterated that it would not accept the invasion of a community by soldiers because of some miscreants.
“We condemn acts of banditry by hoodlums under any guise. Attacking military formation is an act of terrorism. We support any coordinated response by the military to ward off those criminal elements in the creeks.
“That is part of the reason the Niger Delta is militarised. We sympathize with the military who lost their personnel to those miscreants.
“However, what we cannot accept is where the military sack the entire community because of some miscreants.
“It has not been established that the community authorized the hoodlums to embark on that criminal venture.
“Invading Azagbene Community because of some miscreants who perhaps may not even come from the community is not a good response.
“The military was not professional enough in its counteract. These have been their stock in trade which is condemnable.
“Entire community should not be made to pay for the sins of one man. Bandits have been terrorising communities in the north.
“Civilians and security agents have always been the victims. No community in the north has been made the scapegoat.”
However, men of the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army have confirmed the story making the rounds that two of their personnel were killed in the area but denied burning down the community.
Our reporter gathered that authorities of 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, through its spokesman, Maj. Danjuma Jonah confirmed the death of two of its personnel but denied burning down houses in the community.
He said, “Our men did not burn down houses in Azagbene community. We are only combing the community and neighbouring towns in search of one soldier that is missing as a result of the attack that led to the death of two soldiers.
“And we are carrying out the search for the missing soldier in conjunction with leaders of the community.”