At least three persons are feared dead with two others sustaining injuries during an alleged invasion of Ijaw communities in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State in joint security operation on Sunday.
According to Punch Newspapers, the raid was carried out by a joint security operative team comprising of the police, the military and members of a local security outfit, the Andoni Security Peace and Advisory Council.
The joint security operatives were said to have taken the communities by storm in gunboats on Sunday mourning as residents prepared for church service.
Witnesses say the security team was on the lookout for some youths allegedly involved with criminal activities, noting that they heard loud gunshots coming from different directions in their communities.
The Andoni communities raided were Ajakajak, Ibot-Irem, Samanga, Dema, Oturia, and Otuafu.
President General of the Obolo Youths Coalition, Ijaonama Mkpon Amon, confirmed that the three persons who died in the raid were from his community, Ajakajak, while the two others who sustained life-threatening injuries were in Ibot-Irem community.
Mkpon who vehemently condemned the invasion,, advised security agencies to go after their targets rather than inflicting harm and killing innocent people who had nothing to do with crime.
He lamented that the constant raid of Andoni community has become a trauma to the people.
“Obolo is an ethnic group that cuts across Rivers and Akwa Ibom as well as some parts of Abia States. The military should understand that Ajakajak is a community and not a family if they were looking for a particular person.
“More than two thousand people live in that community. If you are coming to raid a community, it should be on target, not zigzag raiding. The three persons who died are from Ajakajak, my community.
“They (security operatives) need to work with the community people to differentiate innocent residents from those involved in criminal activities instead of raiding the entire area.
“This raid is condemnable and I call on the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff to intervene and investigate this incident. They should tell their men not to make Andoni a war zone and for them to stop brutalising our people.”
Spokesman for Division 6 of the Nigerian Army, Major Charles Ekeocha, told news men that the raid was not carried out by soldiers of the division.
“Well, what happened was that we (6 Division) did not carry out that operation. Maybe another security agency did,” Ekeocha stated.
Adequate information could not be gathered from the spokesman for the Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, as he did not pick his calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.