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Bayelsa: Panic as military launches operations against oil thieves, suspected militants

There is palpable tension in Igbematoru and Azuzuama communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state, following the invasion...


There is palpable tension in Igbematoru and Azuzuama communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state, following the invasion by operatives of the Nigerian Army stationed in the state.


The weekend raid, which was conducted by men of 5 brigade of the Nigerian Army, also combed the crude oil pipeline route along the Obama flow station, Kolo creeks and Brass areas of the State.


The invasion was suspected to be raids on camps of suspected oil thieves and some Militants operating illegally in the area.


Military sources stated that the operation was also targeted at tackling the operations of some known militants involved in setting up illegal bunkering camps in communities of Southern Ijaw and some other illegal activities.


However, others claimed that the operation was targeted at a known militant leader over his alleged shady activities but he escaped with his boys through the creeks when he was alerted about the impending military raid.


However, it was gathered that the shrine allegedly being used to administer oaths on youths during recruitment into the illegal bunkering activities by the suspected militant leader was destroyed and many other items including military camouflage, mobile phones and military boots were seized.


Indigenes of Igbematoru community, however, cried out over alleged military occupation of the area thereby causing panic and desertion by indigenes over fear of indiscriminate arrest.


An Indigene of Igbematoru, who pleaded anonymity, however, told newsmen on Sunday that the area is calm as the military men have retreated from the community as at Sunday morning, saying ” the situation is calm now. We are peace loving community and would not want soldiers to occupy our area.”


When contacted, spokesman of the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and the Joint Military Task Force to speak on the developments said he hasn’t been around for sometime now in the state and he can’t speak of what he doesn’t have knowledge of.

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