Soldiers Sack Bayelsa Town over Alleged Killing of Colleagues 

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Some military personnel yesterday allegedly invaded Bilabiri community in riverine Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, razing down some buildings.

Apprehensive residents were said to have fled into the creeks for safety after the soldiers stormed the community allegedly over the killing of their colleagues few weeks ago.

Recall that four naval ratings were killed recently while on a rescue mission around the area to free some abducted foreigners, specifically around Agge coastal area.

The Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe, Maj. Jonah Unuakhalu, did not immediately respond to enquiries on the incident.

However, the killing of the military personnel few weeks ago followed the interception of a dredger, Sterling Global and an attempt by the military to recover the vessel.  

The suspected pirates also abducted two Russian nationals and one Indian, in a confrontation that ensued, the soldiers were killed and several others injured.

A community source said the incident had caused fear among residents who had either fled into the bush or found their way into neighbouring Delta State.

In a reaction, the Ekeremor Federated Youth Council (EFYC), led by Etolor Prince, described the action of the military as unprofessional, noting that it was sad that the military would attack a whole community because some elements allegedly attacked their personnel.

“The ongoing military invasion at Bilabiri community is one too many  in Ekeremor LGA and it is so sad that I have to once again condemn this continuous unprofessional act of the Nigerian military at the slightest provocation.

“It is so sad and annoying to note that, one will never see them carrying out this practice in the North where our brothers in the military are killed on duty every now and then but our case here is nothing to write home about. 

‘They should know that this approach is not working and will never work.

“It is high time the legal luminaries in our region stood up to this injustice meted on our people. I strongly believe legal actions can go a long way to tackle this menace.

“At this juncture, please permit me to sympathise with the people of Bilabiri I & II communities for the loss and I urge government at all levels most especially well- meaning leaders to immediately come to the aid of our people in any way possible to cushion the immediate hardship caused by this attack,” he said.