By Godwin Utuedoye,
The Commander of the Joint Military Task Force JTF, operating in the Niger-Delta Region, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi has been told to cautioned his officers and men over an alleged intimidation and harassment of residents and indigenes of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State.
The spokesman, (Fiyewei) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, made the call recently when he lamented the incessant harassment of the community indigenes by security operatives attached to the JTF.
In a press release made available to newsmen in Warri on Thursday July 19, 2018 and signed by the Gbaramatu Kingdom spokeperson, they called on the relevant authority to caution their officers to abide by the rules of operations.
Narrating their ordeal, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, disclosed that the JTF team stormed Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in the early hours of Thursday July 19, and started intimidating community members by asking them to raise their hands up when there was no sign of crisis or war in the area.
As at the time of filing this report, he said some speed boats belonging to some community members have been towed away to an undisclosed location without reasons given whatsoever for the disdain treatment of the people.
The Fiyewei (Spokesman) of the kingdom wondered why the mobilisation of armed security men to the traditional headquarters when the kingdom was not at war with anyone, stressing that the kingdom has been very peaceful especially with the kickoff of the Nigerian Maritime University NMU, at Okerenkoko.
According to the fiyewei, he noted that last week the JTF Commander and all Sectional Commanders paid a courtesy call to the Palace of the Pere of Gbaramatu, HRM., Oboro Gbaraun the 11, The Pere of Gbaramatu, adding that ”we had a fruitful meeting with all sides vowing to keep the peace in the area, I wonder why two gunboats with the inscription P376 are now stationed in Oporoza Jetty to intimidate our people”, he questioned.
He appealed to the JTF led by Rear Admiral Apochi, to wade into the matter urgently, in order to save the community members who are yet to recover from the psychological and trauma as a result of the bombardment met on the kingdom by the military recently.
He also called on the acting Governor of Delta state, His Excellency Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, to prevail on the JTF to leave the kingdom in peace, as nothing have actually happened in Gbaramatu kingdom to warrant the siege on people of the area by military operatives.