The leadership of Igbomotoru Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has protested the alleged killings of indigenes of the community by security operatives attached to Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) surveillance contractors.
The community also called on the Bayelsa State Government to order the immediate withdrawal of soldiers allegedly stationed in a houseboat in the community.
The leaders of the community claimed that the continued presence of soldiers in their locality would cause panic among indigenes that have been living in constant fear and nervous shock.
In a statement by the Acting Paramount Ruler, Chief Goodluck Alagodei; Chairman of Community Development Committee (CDC) Mr. Ebipamunu Charles; Vice Chairman of CDC, Mr. Goodnews Otobo; Secretary Justice Pronto, and other members of the CDC and compound chiefs, said that no fewer than four youths of the community have allegedly been killed.
The community leadership lamented that since June 22, the community has experienced an unprovoked invasion and attack by armed military men allegedly attached to Darlon, a surveillance security company contractor to NAOC.
While calling on the state government and security agencies to act fast to ensure the withdrawal of the military, the community leadership expressed fear that there would be more killings, maiming and rape of the indigenes, burning of houses and destruction of properties, adding that 12 youth corps members serving in the community has left leaving only three who would most likely leave the community.
They said: “On the 22nd of June, 2022 there was an unprovoked invasion and attack on the Igbomotoru community by armed military men allegedly attached to Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, who came in on six gunboats and another five speedboats loaded with armed boys working with Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, allegedly led by one Mr. Guyman Alex Bekewari, shooting sporadically into the community leaving many with grievous harm and wounds, burning down buildings and carting away cash belonging to the owners of the building thereby causing a great pandemonium with attendant chaos and cataclysm.
“Future likely events if the state government and the security agents do not act fast, there will be more killings of indigenes of Igbomotoru Community by the military aided by NAOC, Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd and Chief David Lyon.
“The continued presence of the military men has made 12 corps members serving in Igbomotoru community to leave the community leaving only three corps members who will most likely leave the community. Before the invasion and the continued stationing of the military men, these corps members have lived their quiet and peaceful lives in Igbomotoru community going about fulfilling their primary assignment. The corps members were the ones doing 90 per cent of the teaching in the schools and with their leaving, the educational system in Igbomotoru will collapse.
“Nigerian Agip Oil Company should not contract to Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited the surveillance or protection of pipelines or other facilities of NAOC in the land of Igbomotoru as same is the root cause of all the problems and killings in Igbomotoru community.
That the NAOC should give contract of surveillance or protection of pipelines and other facilities of NAOC in the land of Igbomotoru to only indigenes of Igbomotoru community.
“That the state government and the security agencies should investigate and bring the NAOC, Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Mr. David Lyon and all persons working under the company to book for the various killings outlined above.
“That Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Mr. David Lyon and NAOC should return to Igbomotoru all the corpses of Gordon Jones, Akunama Francis Agunza, and Young Adolphus Major to Igbomotoru community for proper burial.
“Pay or compel NAOC and Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited or Mr. David Lyon to pay fair and adequate compensation to the community and the families of the deceased and those whose buildings and properties were destroyed.
It is our belief that when the Bayelsa State Government and the security agencies look into these matters and consider our suggestions and take appropriate action to salvage the situation, peace and normalcy will return to Igbomotoru community. We are confidence that the Bayelsa State Government and the security agencies will act fast.”