Following the alleged invasion of Ajapa Community in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State by the military men last week, members of the community on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu and the National Assembly to intervene in the matter.
The men of the Nigeria Army under the Operation Safe Delta engaged the militants in a gun battle on the creek of the community, killing three soldiers and 15 members of the militant group, including the group leader, Ossy Ibori.
It was gathered that since the day of the attack, there had been a heavy presence of military men in the community. The military men were alleged to have set some houses ablaze while searching for fleeing members of the militants. Many residents had reportedly fled from the community over the incident.
The community members have, therefore, appealed to both state and federal governments as well as the National Assembly to send the military men out of the community to enable the residents to return to the town.
The spokesperson of the Ijaw-speaking community, Mr. Maclean Anthony, in a statement, lamented “that the whole of Ajapa community had not known peace since 10 days ago when Ossy Ibori and his gang were pursued into the community by the military”
Anthony said since Ibori had been killed the whole community had been sacked by the military men, while residents, including the traditional ruler, have continued taking refuge inside the creeks since their houses had been allegedly set ablaze during the military invasion.
He said, “Since the invasion of the community by the military and Gallery Security Services where houses were set ablaze and innocent residents were sacked from their places of abode and means of livelihood, the Ondo State Government has not put any machinery on ground to provide security of lives and properties for inhabitants of the coastal community.
“The target of the military and Gallery Security was Ossy Ibori whom they claimed was killed during the gun battle with the gang, but since then, the community has not known peace.
“We implore the Federal Government to send a fact-finding team to come to the area for the sake of peace in the area.”
However, the Public Relations Officer of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Captain Ojo Adelegan insisted that the soldiers were in the area to ensure peace and tranquillity return to the community.
He maintained that the soldiers sent to the community could not involve in any professional misconduct.