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Ogoni Monarch Raise Alarm Over Fresh Military Siege

Tony Ita Etim

Traditional Ruler of Bua Yeghe community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Barinaadaa Gbaranee has raised an alarm of a possible invasion of the community by the Army.

Chief Gbaranee raise the alarm during a visit of Senator Olaka Wogu, former representative of the Rivers South East and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the fourth-coming parliamentary rerun elections in Rivers state and  the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Kenneth Kobani visited the community to donate some food items to the community said the community has been thrown into tension.

The traditional ruler said the people were full of fear and will return to the bush to avoid the brutality and killings that was meted on them during last week’s raid.

“We are not at war with anybody, no body is fighting but i can’t understand why the military was drafted in to kill our people” Chief Gbaranee lamented.

The monarch pleaded with the local, state and federal governments, and other well meaning individuals to intervene, and expressed fear that the community would be sacked if nothing was done.

“We heard that army are coming to Yeghe again for mass arrest tomorrow, Monday March 29, 2016 or any other day not known to us. As I am talking now, there is already four vans loaded with soldiers in Bori.”

“We don’t know what their mission is again in this place. We are afraid. If not that today is Sunday you wouldn’t have seen anybody around.

“I want to plead with army authority and the government to help us remove the army because we not fighting war here.”

He also thanked the State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rivers South East Senatorial District for remembering the people in their time of sorrow and trouble, adding that the people need peace.

On Monday February 22 and Tuesday February 23, soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Bori Comp, Port Harcourt stormed Yeghe in search of one Solomon Ndigbara, a former militant popularly known as Osama Bin Laden.

Sources from Ogoni claimed that the military invasion led to the death of two pregnant women, killing of traders, students and innocent members of the communities of Yeghe, Zaakpon, Kaani and other surrounding villages in Ogoni.

Though the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Stevenson Olabanji insisted that no life was lost during the operation, Ogoni indigenes are claiming that betwwen 17 and 42 persons may have lost their lives.
In a telephone interview, spokesman for the brigade, Captain Lazarus Eli, wondered how the military will be planning a mass arrest in any community and go ahead to make it a common knowledge.

On the heavy presence of soldiers in some Ogoni communities, Captain Lazarus explained that it was a normal military patrol.



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