By Dapo Akinrefon
A Niger Delta group, Ijaw Peoples Congress, IPC, has called on the Commandant of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta to limit their attack to militants in Ughelli South and Burutu Local Government Areas of Delta State.
In a statement by its national president, Mr. Ekanpou Enewaridideke, the group expressed worry over the deployment of soldiers to the councils in the state, noting that the councils were in no way connected with the militants.
“We condemn in strong terms, any resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta and will assist in any capacity to curb the menace. Let the public know that Ayakoromo is a community of intellectuals, who are diametrically opposed to militancy in any form and therefore, do disassociate ourselves from any form of complicity or companionship with John Togo in the on-going battle between him and JTF soldiers.
“We wish to place on record that JTF soldiers should limit their attack to only John Togo’s camp. The commandant of JTF should carry out his military operation in such a way that innocent and harmless people and communities are not affected.
“Already stray bullets have begun flying to Ayakoromo in invasive torrents and this must stop because Ayakoromo people are not part of the war,” he said. While urging the JTF commander to refrain from harming innocent people in the areas, he said what happened in Gbaramatu should not be allowed to repeat itself.
“We wish to say that communities such as Akparemogbene, Oyangbene, Ogbobabougbene, Okwagbe, Egbo-Idei, Ekameta, Egolegbene, Gbekebor, Eseimogbene, Newtown and many others are in the vicinity of Ayakoromo and these communities are peaceful and anti-militancy and will not applaud militancy in any form,” he said