By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-YOUTH under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Development, NDYF, yesterday, said military invasion of Gbaramatu Kingdom was unacceptable.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, NDYF, Comr. Zinami Iwariso, where he described the action as gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the people in the area.
Iwariso also described the situation as pure harassment and sheer oppression of the Niger Delta people despite the military’s reason to search for members of the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers and former militant leader, Government Ekpemopolo.
The statement reads in part: “Today being the 28th day of May 2016 the people of Gbaranmatu woke up to the invasion of their community by the Nigerian Military. The Nigerian Military through the Nigerian Army invaded the peaceful Kingdom of Gbaramantu sometime in the early hours of the day between 8 a.m and 9 a.m.
“The Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) has called the invasion of Gbaramatu Kingdom as an act of impunity. The use of a blitzkrieg in the Kingdom and indeed in the Niger Delta is against the rules of engagement of the Nigerian Military, and thus must be abolished.
“The concocted reason given for this invasion is the alleged search for Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo and the Niger Delta Avengers however the Nigerian Army in their usual style when it comes to the Niger Delta, resorted to harassment, intimidation and brutalisation of innocent people of the Community.
“Brutalising and humiliating the good people of the Niger Delta will not solve the challenges of Nigeria but rather culminate in further crippling the Nation’s economy and generate fathomless problems. The military ought to protect lives and properties, not to kill innocent civilians.
“We unequivocally state here that the ugly method and tactics employed by the Military is against all ethics and rules of engagement of any sort of Military operation. We further state that the act of the Nigerian Military is against the 1999 Constitution and Africa Charter on Human and People’s Rights that guarantees inalienable rights to all persons.”
According to the group Tompolo remains an individual and the Niger Delta Avengers are out at sea, and it will a form of cluelessness, whereby a particularly Gbaramatu Kingdom has been brought under unnecessary victimisation, which innocent persons were abused of their legitimate rights and also maltreated in some cases in the name of the military’s “supposed search”.
“Therefore, we call on the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to call the military to order and stop the endless harassment, intimidation, invasion, massacre and destroying of properties worth billions of Naira in search of Tompolo and the so-called Niger Delta Avengers in Gbaranmatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, and indeed within and around the environs of the Niger Delta
Region or face petitions for war crimes against Humanity.
“Also we wish to remind the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces that when the Leaders of Boko Haram (Shekau and Kabiru Sokoto) were been hunted by previous administration, they never resorted to harassing and assaulting members of their communities. On this note, we urge that precedent be followed”, the statement added.