17 February 2016, Warri—Tension built up in Oporoza, Okerenkoko and other Gbaramatu-Ijaw riverine communities in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, following the announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday that government had deployed more troops to the Niger Delta region to tackle pipeline vandals.
Reports from the communities said that some residents who heeded the call of their leaders to return to the troubled areas to rejuvenate the collapsed economy and social life, deserted the localities again because of fear of the redeployment of more soldiers.
National President of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Austin Ozobo, who confirmed that the latest announcement by Buhari jolted the people, who expected him to find a political solution to the face-off between the Federal Government and former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, said that the few people remaining in the communities had fled.
“If you go to the communities, you will observe that only old men, women and a few youths are remaining. Others have fled because of the fear of the unknown and the recent announcement of redeployment of more troops worsened the whole thing.” Vanguard could not confirm if more troops had arrived the creeks, but in the last few days, about four military gun boats had been stationed around Oporoza.