Delta Community Protests Against Victimisation By Military
BEVERLY HILLS, April 02, (THEWILL) – The people of Enerhen community in Uvwie local government area of Delta state on Friday carried out a peaceful protest to the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Warri Correspondents' Chapel's Press Center, where they decried what they termed military victimisation of residents of their neighbourhood.
The protesters, consisting of women, youths and leadership of the community, lamented an attempt on the life of their chairman, Comrade Lucky Emuakpor-Izeku, who purportedly narrowly escaped death after an unprovoked encounter with a navy personnel and some soldiers.
They narrated how the security personnel, who were keeping guard at two companies in the community made to kill the chairman of their community for no good reason.
Speaking on behalf of Enerhen Community, an Elderly Woman, Mrs. Mary Owolo claimed that naval and Army personnel on guard duty at Arco-Marine Limited and Python Engineering and Construction Company allegedly shot at Emuakpor-Izeku, for daring to challenge Arco-Marine said to be relocating from Warri to Port-Harcourt.
Disclosing that the incident took place on Thursday afternoon, Mrs. Owolo said she saw the security personnel shattering the windshield of a Kia Rio Car of the Community's Chairman with Reg: TDU 117 EV causing tension within the area.
She then called on the Delta State Government to prevail on the matter stressing that the community is a peaceful and law abiding community.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the navy and army personnel, Emuakpor-Izeku accused them of allegedly harassing, intimidating and attacking him when he approached management of Arco-Marine Limited for the benefit of its indigenes under its employ as they were relocating to Port Harcourt.
He said workers from the community had earlier approached the Ako-Marine Limited in a peaceful manner for their pay-off and other packages when naval personnel on guard duty allegedly threatened to deal decisively with them claiming to be under orders of the company.
The Community Chairman also claimed that in a bid to carry out instructions of the company, the naval personnel on guard duty ran to Opposite company, Python Engineering & Construction Company to solicit the support of his soldier colleagues and invaded the community shooting sporadically into the air just as they threatened to kill anyone who dares to challenge them.
But in a swift reaction to The Nation, the Commander Nigerian Army 3 Battalion Effurun, Major Azaku absolved the Nigerian Army of the alleged invasion of the community, pointing out that the naval personnel should be held responsible for whatever that transpired.
“The problem started with the navy. He should be able to point out those that supported him. No Army Officer was on guard duty at Ako-Marine Limited. I can go to any length to fish out those who are involved in the act if they can point the soldiers to me. I told them yesterday,” he said.
The newspaper also quoted the Commander Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed as saying: “The Nigerian Navy is investigating the matter”, even as he assured the community and newsmen of handling the matter in transparent manner.