By Phil Abha
Tension mounts in the Niger Delta as Nigerian military under the Nigerian Navy have allegedly laid siege at Escravos, anchoring their gun boats at the front of Oporoza creek, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West, Local Government Area, Delta state.
Our correspondent in a chat with Barr. Gideon Mulade from the Escravos River claimed that the Navy are harassing and intimidating speedboats, passengers plying the river routes and fishermen using local hand pulling canoes thereby making life uncomfortable for the people in the area.
He is however afraid that it may lead to another break down of law and order in the peaceful area, as he urged the Naval authority to look into the matter, noting that election is taking place in Bayelsa and not Delta state therefore the security agents should go to Bayelsa creeks and police that area and not Delta.
Barr. Mulade disclose that there is no election or whatsoever taking place in Delta State and wondered why the military will choose to come and pose as threats and tension in the minds of the people living peacefully among themselves.
While Speaking to the Spokesman (FIYEWEI) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, High Chief Godspower Gbenekama JP during a telephone chat, he confirmed that the Navy at Escravos said the operation is a routine exercise not to arrest and intimidate anyone in the area, adding that they are all over the river both at Burutu axis keeping surveillance because of the Election coming up weekend in Bayelsa State.
Chief Gbenekama said the Navy commander has assured him that they were not going to enter any community to intimidate or harass anybody but will abide by the rules of engagement.
Continuing, he pleaded with the Navy Commander to tell his officers and ratings to be professional while discharging their duties in the area.
The Gbaramatu Kingdom Spokesman (FIYEWEI) was however worried that the National chairman of APC was using Tompolo’s name in their campaign, wondering when Tompolo became a saviour of the Nigerdelta, when in a few months past he was seen as the worst human being in the Niger Delta.
He said: “Those who used excreta to fill Noah’s canoe, are the same people that have cleaned the same canoe with their body because of leprosy.”
He pleaded with politicians to leave Tompolo alone in their bid to be relevant and acceptable to the people of the Niger Delta.
Chief Gbenekama appealed to everybody in Gbaramatu kingdom to go about their normal businesses without fear or molestation.
The Spokesman also urged the military to ensure that nobody should be manhandled in any part of Gbaramatu during their operation as it concerns the Bayelsa Election as the election is not taking place in our domain.
He pointed out that “Gbaramatu is peaceful because there is collaboration between the traditional institution and the military and that it is important to ensure we sustain and keep this peace.