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N’Delta: Military in trouble in Gbaramatu as villagers petition FG over black soot

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Fiyewei of Gbaramatu kingdom

By Enaibo Asiayei

The military personnel operating within the axis of Gbaramatu Kingdom has been petitioned to the Federal Govt.

The Fiyewei (spokesman) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Gbenekama Godspower made this known to GbaramatuVoice, the Niger Delta most leading and trusted newspaper.

The Fiyewei said it was necessary the FG called the military to order, while he spoke with our correspondent on Monday, Sep. 14 2020 through the telephone.

He said that volumes of black soot filled the Gbaramatu environment causing health risk to dwellers and the shoddy experience was fingered to be the occupation of the military who were engaged in unwholesome activities of burning crude oil camps, boats and other properties found to be those that belonged to illicit oil bunkerers.

The Spokesperson of Gbaramatu Kingdom lamented over what he described as misconducts of the military always meted out to the supposed illegal bunkerers.

He lamented as disrespect how the generated black soot covered the palace of the traditional ruler of the Kingdom and even the very water system from which the indigenes sourced drinking water from, not to talk of the breathing problems that have been noticed in the area among the inhabitants.

According to the Spokesperson, “It is often a wonder to us why the military is not mindful of the environment.

“The military would cause environmental hazards, just because they want to protect the government from financial loss owing to illegal oil bunkeries.

“If there’s presence of illegal oil bunkers, not all of the culprits are from Gbaramatu communities. Instead of investigating, the military kills the indigenes of our community because of the presence of illegal oil bunkers operating within the vicinity of the community with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies”.

He further stated that if the law enforcement agencies do their job well, they should be aware by now that the products which are illegally refined, pass through all the military checkpoints before getting to their destination and so there was no way the military would claim that they didn’t have a hand in the distribution of the illegal products. Chief Gbenekama therefore called on the Federal government to call the military to order or else the communities would have to take their fate in their hands and protest.

“We can’t be silent anymore; we can’t watch our environment being destroyed. In the northern part of the country illegal miners are operating, but are not getting killed for it. The Nigeria military are killing us through the illegal burning of bunkery sites..The presence of soots is making it hard to breathe. The military should know better, they should follow protocols while carrying out their activities. We ask that all military house boats be removed,because the military are the major cause of the problem .They are aiding and abetting the illegal bunkers. The house boats should be removed for the bunkery to stop. The illegal burning is just for show to make it seem like they are doing their supposed jobs” Chief Gbenekama said.

He also appealed to the committee set up by the Delta State government headed by the deputy governor, to go back to the creek and carry out sensitisation programmes with the notable chiefs and traditional rulers across Delta so as to educate their indigenes about the dangers of illegal bunkeries.