21 January 2016, Warri – Residents of riverine communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, are worried about the next move of the Joint Task Force, JTF, which had threatened community leaders to produce the ex-militants that bombed crude oil and gas pipelines in the state, last week.
The people are afraid that the military may invade their communities anytime and wreak havoc on innocent persons.
Meanwhile, leaders and stakeholders of Egbema and Gbaramatu kingdoms, have condemned the bombing of the pipelines in their area, saying that bombing of oil facilities was economically detrimental to the nation.
Secretary, Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, Jude Ukori, at a meeting with community leaders and stakeholders of Gbaramatu and Egbema kingdoms, held in Effurun, said that the bombing of oil facilities would only add to the pains Nigerians are passing through as a result of the fall in oil price.
Ukori advised stakeholders to know that bombing of oil facilities will never bring anything good to the people of the area.
He said: “It is criminal to destroy Federal Government property for any reason. It is very annoying to hear of such act in our area.”
Meanwhile, some of the riverside dwellers, who spoke with Vanguard on phone, yesterday, said that they do not know their fate yet, as the task force would seize any opportunity to raid them.
One of them, John Seigha, said, “I want to know what the position is. Though many residents fled the communities, some of us are still hiding. There is calm now, but we do not know what surprise the military will come up with. We need assurance that they will not invade our communities as they threatened.”
Chairman, Gbaramatu Political Forum, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, who condemned the recent pipelines bombing, said that the people were disturbed by the statement credited to the military authorities that the task force would, henceforth, hold community leaders responsible for attacks on pipelines.
He said it was a clear witch-hunt, adding, “Contractors, not community leaders, are those responsible for securing pipelines. It is wrong to hold community leaders responsible for what they know nothing about.”