ByÂ Charles Kumolu
LAGOSâ€”A GROUP, Warri Interest Group (WIG), has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, to call the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS)Â in Delta State to order, allegingÂ that they had become tools in the hands of desperate politicians.
It also condemned the arrest and detention of some Itsekiri youths by the task force, adding that the youths did nothing to attract arrest.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Lagos, National Coordinator of WIG, Comrade Alex Eyengho, commended the Joint Task Force on Niger Delta (JTF) for protecting defenceless and law abiding citizens inÂ Itsekiri land.
He said:Â â€œMay we use this opportunity to call on the Inspector General of police to promptly call the â€˜Red Beretâ€™ to order in Delta State. They have become a tool in the hands of politicians in the state. They are being used to intimidate and harass perceived opposition, particularly in Warri, homeland of the Itsekiri people . Their primary responsibility is to guard against terrorist activities like pipeline vandalisation and hostage-taking.â€
Narrating how the Itsekiri youths were arrested, Eyengho regretted that the arrest was carried out at the premises of a prominent Itsekiri leader.
â€œAfter the press conference we had in Warri which was witnessed by representative of the State Security Services (SSS), some of the Itsekiri participants decided to visit the GRA. Their aim was to eat Christmas rice. They had hardly settled down to the food and drinks when some people stormed the place in company of fierce-looking men of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, also known as Red Berets in the state,â€ Eyengho lamented.
He said â€œwe would have reverted to the Hobessian state of nature in the area. It is in this light that we call for the continuousÂ presence of the JTF in Warri , particularly in the riverine areas and creeks.â€