By Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The People of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State yesterday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and effect the release of two persons seized by soldiers at Tebujor community.
Heavily armed soldiers had on Saturday invaded community, close to the country home of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias “Tompolo” arresting two persons for a yet-to-be established reason.
THISDAY checks revealed that the soldiers, attached to the Joint Task Force (JTF) codenamed Operation Delta Safe stormed the community at about 5a.m and went in search of some suspected militants.
The acting Secretary General of Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, however appealed to Okowa to come to the aid of the communities so as to stop the incessant arrest, intimidation and brutality of the residents.
“We are also using this medium to tell our President to call the military to order. We can not at this time when we are looking for solutions to the problems of the Niger Delta be shopping for crisis,” he added.
It was gathered that the operation might be in response to last Tuesday night attack on Trans-Forcados Export line at Batan community barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari met with leaders of the Niger Delta to ensure peace in the region.
Gbenekam disclosed that one Moses Bebenimibo who was on his way to Oporoza and one Kpaghan Marvellous, a student of Gbaraun Grammar School, Oporoza, were arrested by the soldiers.
He said he was at the palace of the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom to brief him on the Abuja meeting when residents raised the alarm that soldiers had invaded their communities.
The Ibe-Benemowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, said after the meeting with the president in Abuja, it was imperative that everybody goes to his or her constituency to brief the grassroots on the outcome of the meeting around all the communities in the Niger Delta.
Gbenekama said he was on that mission after returning from Bayelsa State on a consultancy when the residents ran to the palace to inform them about a military invasion which was going on in Okpele Ama/Tebujor communities in the Kingdom.
He also appealed to Gbaramatu people, Ijaws, and all Niger Deltans to keep the peace in the face of all provocations.