By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”YOUTH lead ers ofÂ the troubled Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State rose from an emergency meeting, weekend, in Warri,Â saying youths from the area are not militants andÂ should not be subjected to unnecessary harassment and intimidation by the Joint Task Force (JTF)Â on the Niger-Delta.
The youths who met under the auspices of the Gbaramatu Youth Leaders Council called on both the federal and Delta State governments to set up a committee to rebuild the burnt houses in the kingdom, starting from the palace of His Royal Majesty, Pere Godwin Bebenimibo.
In a communiquÃ©, jointly signed by the president and secretary general, Kennedy Brake and Prince Meshac Bebenimibo, they said, â€œwe wish to state here that we, the youths of Gbaramatu kingdom are not militants and we donâ€™t condone criminals in our kingdom, so the JTF should please leave our kingdom in peaceâ€.
They condemned the aerial bombardment of the communities and killing of innocent law abiding citizens since May 13 till date by the Joint Task Force on the Niger-Delta.
The Gbaramatu youths also want the Federal Government and the international community to call the JTF Commander, Major General Sarkin Yarkin-Bello, to order in his cordon and search operation in Gbaramatu kingdom, which they alleged soldiers have turned to a search and loot operation.
They stressed the need for the government to open the waterways for business and easy movement of people, while Delta State Rehabilitation Committee, set up by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan should be allowed access by the security outfit to Okerenkoko, Kurutie and Oporoza communities.
The council further frowned at the attitude of some contractors, who were said to be positioning themselves for contracts to repair the damaged pipelines by militants when the victims of the crisis have not been resettled.
â€œFrom our point of view on the ongoing genocide in Gbaramatu kingdom, itâ€™sÂ is a perpetuationÂ of the Federal GovernmentÂ and the Northernersâ€™Â arrangement to kill the agitation of the Niger Delte people in order to again back their dominance and enslave the people where Nigeriaâ€™s wealth is coming from.
This attitude of the Federal Government is targeted to wipe out the Niger-Delta struggleâ€, they said in the communiquÃ©.