Legal Nigeria

IYC vows to help military fish out killers of soldiers

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has pledged to work with the military in its ongoing efforts to arrest persons behind the gruesome killings of 16 soldiers in Okuama community, Delta State.The Dr. Alaye Theophilus-led IYC said it had set up an investigative and fact-finding team to support the military and other security agencies unearth the root cause of the incident.Theophilus, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, appealed to the military to remain professional and maintain the rules of engagement applicable in other parts of the world in apprehending persons behind the dastardly act.He urged the military to stop attacking communities in the region but focus its strength in isolating and dealing with the culprits.Theophilus said: “As the largest ethnic block in the Niger Delta region, we are concerned about the stability and business friendly environment of the oil rich region, and as such whatever that happens in any part of the region is of a serious concern to us.

“It is on this note that we have also set up an investigation and fact-finding team which is open to supporting the military and other security agencies to get to the root cause of the matter, and possibly bring the killers to face the law.“While we appreciate the military for their efforts and sacrifices in safe guiding the lives and properties of our people, our communities and the nation at large, we pray God to protect them.“We also appeal that the military should remain professional and maintain their rule of engagement as they apply in other parts of the country in fighting criminals. We plead that when moving to fish out the killers that the whole community should not be destroyed because of the action of few individuals.

“As a people, what we have experienced over time is that, when an individual does something bad to military men operating in our region, reprisal from the military is always against the entire community.“At different occurrences, communities where such happens individual that is having problem with the military is always destroyed, houses burn down, innocent youths killed and valuables destroyed. It is condemnable.“These are actions that even in conflict situation is unacceptable and condemnable. Hence, it is our collective appeal that when dealing with our communities, the military should be more professional.

“As we speak, the fears of our people have shown up again as the said Okuama Community has been completely burnt down and all the occupants made homeless, and are now refugees in neighbouring communities”.Theophilus regretted that the military had already invaded Ignomotoru 2, opened fire on innocent men, woman and children and reportedly killed innocent people.He said: “Houses have been burnt down and till date the military personnel have not told us what the people of Igbomotoru 2 did against them. They have not informed us if there was breakdown of law and order, or if there are criminal elements in the community disturbing their operations.“What is happening in this community is purely a humanitarian crisis. As we speak, they have held every member of the community hostage as there is no entry or exist to the community. People are now starving to death.“We want to call on the Nigerian military to please act with all form of professionalism and responsibility. They should fish out the culprits in the killing and them to book. They should as well thoroughly investigate the root cause of the matter and do not leave any stone unturned.“We are also calling on Mr. President, to please come to the aide of the people of Igbomotoru 2 community as the people are dying of starvation due to the unnecessary invasion and the maltreatment being meted on them by the military”.

Source:The nation