WARRI- Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri Sourh West LGA, of Delta State have vowed to join forces with the federal government to wage war against militants, particularly members of the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers who have threatened to carry out massive bombing of oil facilities in their localities.
The Chairman of the 15 communities Chairmen, Comrade Johnbull Izirimi Demebi gave the assurance in a statement made available Daily Watch reporter in Warri of their resolve to join force with Nigerian security operatives to combat against insecurity in the creeks. They said the decision to protect their areas was taking after due consideration of the psychological and mental trauma suffered by their indigenes as a result of the massive military deployment in Delta creeks.
According to the Ijaw communities, they have placed all the Chairmen and vigilantes in the area on red alert to monitor and safe guard oil installations that pass through their communities.
Speaking against the backdrop of last weekend’s deployment of an additional 20 gunboats to Delta creeks by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, into the creeks, Comrade Demebi, admonished the federal government to hold back the military option as they are prepared to support government’s effort to rid the area of criminal elements.
While recalling the devastating experience of last week Tuesday aerial surveillance of the communities by military choppers that force many of their indigenes to take refuge in bush for fear of being bombed, the Chairman noted that up till now a reasonable number of the indigenes are still being missing due to that act of intimidation by the military.
“Our people are not criminals and we are not at war with the government. We don’t know who the members of the Avengers are and we have demanded that they stay away from our land, as we are prepared to protect the oil facilities that pass through our community with everything we have”.
“We have put in place our own internal security network to monitor oil facilities in our areas and we will not hesitate to arrest any vandal or criminals that come to our community to commit any act of sabotage on oil facilities on our land and hand them over to the security agents for prosecution”.
“What we have repeatedly demand from the federal government is the development of our land and people and this, we shall continue to demand. Not even the intimidating presences of soldiers and military equipment on our land will stop us from making this demand. So government had better reconsider its military option and commence the process of developing our area”, he stated.