By Teide Emomotimi
Foremost Ijaw pressure group, the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI has outrightly condemned the killings and burning of the Udoda community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State by suspected military men, adding that the killings in the community amount to extra-judicial killing.
This was contained in a press statement by the group’s national president Comrade Ozobo Austin on Wednesday.
The statement titled:” Stop the military killings and Invasion of Ijaw Land; Udoda Community in View” said: “We wish to unequivocally state that we are disappointed by the continuous attack and extra-judicial killings going on in Ijaw land carried out by the Nigerian Army.
The group reiterated that Ijaw people have been treated like strangers in their homeland, adding soldiers and thugs who perpetrated the killings and burning of the community to be brought to book without further delay.
“It is enough insult that Ijaw people are not in the security plans of Nigeria and have always been treated like invaders in their community. The Nigerian Army deployed not to protect citizens who do not have any security for their lives but to protect the profit interest of international capitalist companies and the federal government has made it a duty to kill Ijaw people indiscriminately at every slight opportunity.”
Condemning the invasion, the group stated that the military activities in the community are unprofessional and could incite provocation among residents of the Niger Delta region.
“The Udoda Community invasion by the Army is unprofessional and has cost the lives of even Traditional chiefs and unarmed youths of the community.
“This is one killing too many and we condemn the act in the strongest terms possible. We want to promise everyone involved that it will not be a party as usual, as we will follow up on these happenings till the people of Udoda and other Ijaw communities have fallen prey to the unprofessionalism of the Army given justice.” the group asserted.
Recall, the People of the Udoda community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State have recently protested over consistent military killings and invasions of the community.
The protesters who gave the timelines of the attacks, narrated: “Many people have died in these attacks and air raids. They used air raids to burn houses and kill innocent people. Recently they invaded this community. It has been happening since 2019. They came in 2019 with air raids. They burnt houses and killed people and rendered them homeless.
“On May 27, 2019, there was a raid in which people were killed. In November 2020 another air raid occurred in which a boy and other five people were killed.
“On June 15, 2022, another attack occurred again and a chief was killed. On June 27, they entered the community and shot and killed people. They broke doors and stole money worth N30 million and people were rendered homeless. Over 30 people have been killed in these attacks.”