Troops of the 4 Brigade, Nigeria Army Benin City and the youths of the Gelegele Ijaw community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State have disagreed over an alleged attack on the troops drafted to Dubril Oil Company Plc’s flow station and a missing military rifle.
Consequently, soldiers alleged stormed the community in the early hours of yesterday, causing uneasy in the sleepy settlement.
It was gathered that some hoodlums were responsible for attack on the military officers, shot one and escaped with his service rifle. There was said to be an exchange of fire between the soldiers and the attackers, resulting in various degrees of injuries.
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 4 Brigade, Captain Muhammed Maidawa, said: “Our troops deployed at Gelegele community in the ongoing clearance operation reported a missing rifle belonging to a soldier.
“The area was immediately cordoned and search for the missing rifle ongoing. Regimental inquiry has been set up to ascertain the circumstances that led to the incident.”
But the Public Relations Officer of the community, Don Ben, retorted: “Gelegele community has no problem with the Army. There was an attack last night on the wellhead of the flow station belonging to Dubril Oil Company Plc by some hoodlums.
“The military men thereafter launched an attack and lay siege to the community, beat up young and old people as well as molested women and arrested people indiscriminately. A young boy was beaten to stupor.
“They summoned a meeting of the entire community and demanded that the gun taken away by the attackers must be returned. The community is not aware of what happened at the flow station. The attackers came through the river.
“ We have expected the military to call for a meeting on how to resolve the problem instead of attacking and laying siege to the community and molesting innocent people. “