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Military invasion: Bayelsa monarch appeals to FG for compensation

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By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio

YENAGOA—THE people of Ondewari Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have appeal to the federal and state governments to come to the aid of the community following a military invasion early this year that led to the destruction of property and valuables worth millions of Naira.

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File: Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces Sniper Unit 

Acting Paramount Ruler and Chiarman of Ondewari Chiefs Council, HRH  Robert Simon, who made the appeal at the community town hall while addressing newsmen and a cross section of the people yesterday, in company of his cabinet and  youth leaders, noted that the military attack on the community was one too many, as the community had suffered a similar military invasion in November last year.

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He said, “Early this year, precisely on January 13, 18 and 23, some naval and army personnel invaded our community and when we inquired, they said that some criminals from Azuzama community busted some Agip Oil Company pipelines and are believed to have fled to Ondewari and Opotuwari communities.

“But why must our people particularly old men and women including youths suffer for the crimes they never commit or know something about? The harassment and destruction of houses of our people was too great. Our people were forced to run into the forest and some people sustained injuries while running for dear life.

“As we speak, our people are still fear stricken, we cannot sleep with our two eyes closed because of fear or another attack. We want to appeal to the Federal and State governments to come to our aid, mostly the people whose houses and property were burnt and destroyed.

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“Election is at hand, and if frequent invasion occur, for a population of over 20,000 persons, where will we go to cast our votes? That is why we need the governments to come to intervene and help our situation.”

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