Niger Delta: Group slams FG over alleged invasion of Gbaramatu kingdom

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Gbaramatu kingdom was allegedly invaded by the military task force who were searching for members of the Niger Delta Avengers.

A group under the aegis of Save Niger Delta Group, has condemned the actions of the Army, following the reported invasion of the kingdom of Gbaramatu by the Joint military task force.

Reports say Gbaramatu kingdom was allegedly invaded by the military task force who were searching for members of the Niger Delta Avengers.

The statement which was jointly signed by Jacob Abai, the National Coordinator of the Save Niger Delta Group, and it National Spokesperson, Comr. Fiyebo Eperetei reads:

That the deployment of highly supplicated military weaponry and arsenal to engage hapless villages and towns in aerial and amphibious bombardment in a scale never ever witnessed in even the Nigerian civil war is callous, inhuman, dastardly, barbaric and insensitive. We condemn this unprovoked attack and invasion in the strongest term possible.

The destruction, looting and molestation of the people of  Okerenkoko, Kokodiagbene, Oporoza, Kurutie and many other communities by the Joint Task Force and maiming of innocent people including women and children amount to systemic annihilation of an ethnic race and this is simply genocide. It therefore deserves international condemnation.

Nigeria, in the comity of nations, is a highly respected country in International Peace Keeping operations where its proficiency even in the most challenging circumstances restrained it from the deployment of such supplicated weaponry in the weight and scale as was deployed to attack the Ijaw communities. It is therefore a travesty of justice and totally incomprehensible that the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) which primary task is to restore hope and bring peace to the troubled Niger Delta region decided to employ such highly sophisticated weaponry to molest innocent fellow citizens. This, in our estimation is a clearly premeditated attack, conceived, planned and executed with the light of speed not even enforced in normal war situation.

The Ijaw ethnic nation contributes more than 70% of Nigeria’s wealth. We appear to be a people who have become victims of our own wealth by the use of sophisticated military hardware bought with our own petro-naira to kill our people.

It is indeed criminal, unjustified, inconsiderate and callous to declare full military operations on communities in the guise of undertaking a search for Niger Delta Avengers. This is nothing but a deeply contemplated systemic killing of the Ijaw people in furtherance of the age-long crave by sections of this country to either forcefully relocate us or make the Ijaw identity extinct in the Nigerian map with a view to taking over full possession of our natural resources.

The Save Niger Delta Group appeals to the United Nations Organisation to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding this latest assault and molestation of hapless and innocent people since we do not foresee the possibility of justice from a Nigerian government commissioned inquiry.

The Save Niger Delta Group demands that those found responsible by the Inquiry should be tried at the International Court of Justice for acts of genocide and violation of human right.

The Save Niger Delta Group wish to call for the immediate withdrawal of the Joint Military Task Force and its personnel from the Gbaramatu Communities. The JTF has become more of an occupation force in our land and not advancing the course of peace.

The Save Niger Delta Group calls on the Federal Government to take full responsibility for the replacing of all destroyed properties and the immediate resettlement of all displaced people.

The Save Niger Delta Group calls on the Federal Government to immediately order its troops to stop chasing and harassing innocent Ijaw sons and daughters in their own land for no reason.

Whereas the Ijaw ethnic nationality have suffered decades of deprivation and neglect in the hands of Nigeria’s ruling tripod, Gbaramatu people have continually maintained that no arms combat can earn the Ijaw struggle its desired outcome. It is futile and counter-productive to continue the arms struggle as a strategy to emancipate the Ijaw nation from the present economic strangulation and neglect.

The Save Niger Delta Group (SNDG) appeals to Niger Delta Avenges to sheath their sword and avoid further escalation of military combat since there is no better alternative to dialogue in conflict resolution. We want peace to seek the course of international arbitration and justice as the most plausible way to resolving the intractable crises in Gbaramatu Kingdom. Therefore we call on Niger Delta Avengers to exercise maximum restraint and cease further hostilities forthwith.

Gbaramatu people are peace loving, law abiding and loyal citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who, like people from other parts of this country, abhor criminality. The generalisation and characterization of the youths’ militant actions as inherent characteristic peculiar to the Ijaws is therefore unkind, unfair, discriminating, and unacceptable.

The Nigerian Army recently paraded 10 suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers before the press.

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