Many disgruntled residents of Igbomotoru Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have expressed their disapproval of recent killings in the area.
The residents protested the alleged killings of indigenes of the community by Nigerian Army personnel attached to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC’s surveillance contractors, according to SaharaReporters.
The community also called on the state government to order the immediate withdrawal of soldiers allegedly stationed in a houseboat in the community.
According to the leadership of the community, the continued presence of soldiers in the community is causing panic, as indigenes and inhabitants are now living in constant fear and anxiety.
In a statement by the acting Paramount Ruler, Chief Goodluck Alagodei, the Chairman of the Community Development Committee, Ebipamunu Charles, CDC Vice Chairman, Goodnews Otobo, CDC Secretary, Justice Pronto, and other members of the CDC and compound chiefs, said no fewer than four community youths had been killed.
The community leadership lamented that since June 22, the community has been experiencing an unprovoked invasion and attack by armed military men allegedly attached to Darlon, a surveillance security company contractor to NAOC.
They said, "On June 22, 2022, there was an unprovoked invasion and attack on the Igbomotoru Community by armed military men allegedly attached to Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd who came in on 6 no. gunboats and another 5 speedboats loaded with armed boys working with Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd allegedly led by one 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 caused a great pandemonium with attendant chaos and cataclysm.
"Future likely events of 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 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."
The community leadership urged the state government and the security agencies to take steps to remove the presence of the military men attached to Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd and also the boys working with the company in Igbomotoru Community to enable the indigenes and inhabitants of Igbomotoru live and lead our normal life.
"Nigerian Agip Oil Company should not contract to Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd, the surveillance or protection of pipelines or other facilities NAOC in the land of Igbomotoru as same is the root cause of all the problems and killings in Igbomotoru Community.
"That the Nigerian Agip Oil Company 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 and not to any person not being an indigene of Igbomotoru community.
"That the State Government and the security agencies should investigate and bring the NAOC,Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd, David Lyon and all persons working under the company to book for the various killings outlined above.
"That Darlon Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd , Chief 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 Ltd or Chief 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," they stated.