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Operation Crocodile Smile: Ijaw Community Write Burutai, Protest Soldiers’ Invasion, Theft, Others



By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa

Angry Indigenes of the Atam kiri Community in Kalaibiama Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State have sent a protest letter to the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai over the alleged illegal military invasion and theft of properties and cash worth N50million.

According to the Community, the accused soldiers attached to the Billie sector command of the 130 Battallion of the Joint Security Outfit known as Operayion Delta Safe invaded the community on Sunday, 22nd of Octobers,2017 and carted ways over Eight engine boats including two W23 boats used by local security vigilante working with state security agencies.

The angry Atamkiri Indigenes, who are also known as Ijaw Kiri and mostly made of fishing settlements, said the action of the soldiers is provocative, outside rule of engagement and armed theft of innocent and peace loving people of the area.

An indigene of the Community, Comrade Peter Pule, told newsmen on Sunday that most of the indigenes were in church when the soldiers arrived. He also said two of engines carted away by soldiers were recovered by Police in Nembe area of Rivers while being offered for sale by some boys.

“Even most of our people have reported that the two boats with inscriptions of the Neighbourhood security patrol team were seen being used by soldiers during patrol .It is unfair.”

Confirming the development in a petititon addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, the Counsel, Barr. G. Moses of the T.D. Dick-Harry&Co, stated that though the operations of the Crocodile Smile may have been informed by the sad April killing of some soldiers in a neibouring community by suspected Militants, ” the decision by the Ijaw Kiri indigenes to set up a neigbourhood watch in collaboration with exisiting security aparatus in the state is a proof of innocence and love for peace.”

“The action is to avert any military attack and invasion. To our surprise, soldiers in military gun boats attacked the innocent community and cart away engine boats packed at the waterside, ransacked homes and cart away cash and shamefully cart away personal belongings not related to security operations.”

“We urge you to use your good office to investigate and ensure the seized properties of indigenes are returned to alleviate the suffering, intimidation‎ and harassment of clients.”






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