Men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) invaded the Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, on Friday, leading to the killing of key suspec in the murder of some Naval rating.
The Men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), code named Operation Delta Safe (ODS), according to Daily Post, launched the attack which forced residents to flee into the creeks for safety as some parts of the community were burnt during the search for suspects in the murder of Four Naval rating a fortnight ago.
According to reports, the military stormed the community at about 10:am in about nineteen gunboats, shooting sporadically into the air before setting selected houses ablaze, including the Palace of a paramount ruler. It was said to have lasted more than three hours.
Ekeremor Federated Youth Council (EFYC), through the President, Mr. Etolor Prince, frowned at the ongoing destruction of Bilabiri community by soldiers, describing the action of the military as unprofessional.
He said: “The ongoing military invasion at Bilabiri community is one too many occurrence 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 (military) should know that this approach is nothing working and will never work.
“Please, 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 sympathize 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.”
In the first week of January, unknown gunmen reportedly killed four Naval ratings and abducted two foreigners at Agge coastal area, close to Bilabiri community. The incident occurred when the gunmen seized a dredger escorted by the operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS).
The gunmen attacked the Sterling Global Dredger causing heavy gun battle between them and the ratings. The gun battle, which reportedly lasted for hours led to the killings of the four ratings with others sustaining injuries.
The gunmen seized the dredger and abducted two Russian nationals and one Indian.