Published On: Thu, May 4th, 2017

Soldiers set Ondo community ablaze as residents find refuge in the forests

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By Austin Oyibode

Soldiers have set ablaze an Ijaw community in Ondo state -The soldiers are said to be in a reprisal attack following the death of some of their officers during the clash with militants leading to the death of Ossy Ibori.

The community members have fled into the bushes around as all entry and exit to the community have been blocked by soldiers Members of the Nigeria Army code-named Operation Delta Safe have allegedly burnt down Ajakpa community, an Ijaw area in Arogbo clan in Ese-Odo local government area of Ondo state.

Facts emerging from the community reveal that the military has heavily overran the community blocking entry and exit points, a development which has forced the people to flee into the available forests to take refuge and save their lives.

President of Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare, who made this known to in a telephone conversion, said the people are hemmed in, they cannot go out of the community and neither can anyone come in for rescue operations.

Soldiers set Ondo community ablaze as residents find refuge in the forests

He said innocent residents in the community for the past four days have been locked out of their community.

According to him: “Innocent citizens are suffering and dying. All waterways in and out of the community have been blocked by soldiers. For four days running the people are hemmed inside the bush. No food, no water, no shelter. “The people need help. This is the situation of the Ijaw people of Ajapa community, Arogbo Clan in Ondo state. This is unjust and inhuman.”

The military operation, according to him, was a follow up of the clash between the Army and the militants in the area which led to the death of a militant leader, Ossy Ibori. He said the clash between the Army and the militants allegedly resulted to the death of some military officers and in the usual action of soldiers, in a bid to apprehend other members of the militant group who killed their officers, they have put the entire community in crisis.

Militants engage soldiers leading to death of Ossy Ibori

He said: “As it is now, it’s like the military are angry that their officers died in the clash. But dealing with community people along with criminals is wrong “You cannot kill innocent people in the name of looking for criminals. They are looking for people that killed their officers because they had a confrontation with the militants whose leader, Ossy Ibori, was killed. “They have condoned off the entire community, they have burnt the community, they are not allowing access, either in or out of the community. “Our concern is while searching for militants; you must separate the criminals from the ordinary people. It’s not done anywhere in the world for you to burn a community down in the name of searching for a criminal. “Ossy Ibori was terrorizing the people in that area. The military operation is a result of him. He has been killed, having killed him why subjecting the ordinary people to inhuman treatment. “For the past four days, they have no access to anything. The place has been condoned off. No access to the community. The people are now in the bush.”


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