Okiama community condemns JTF’s invasion

·Our operation was targeted at militants—JTF

Members of Okiama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are still brooding over the wanton destruction of properties and missing persons, sequel to the invasion of the community by men of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Save (ODS) as reprisal in response to the killing of three soldiers by  militants at the Nembe waterfront checkpoint.

However, in his reaction, the Commander of the JTF, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, said the operation was targeted at militants, who specialised in taking refuge  in small communities after killing and destroying national assets even as he noted that the claims by members of the community should be substantiated with pictorial evidence.

In a statement signed by His Royal Highness, King Oki Francis and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the monarch, who decried the invasion, which, he said had been carried out twice in his community, called on the presidency, security agencies and the international community to come to their aid.

Francis, who had been condoled by paramount rulers of other communities, condemned the reprisal on innocent persons, stating that while the invasion lasted, many people who ran into the bush had been missing, while some children and pregnant women got drowned in the river.

He explained that over 15 buildings we reduced to rubbles and that many have been homeles.

He described as unprofessional, a situation where JTF members, who ought to save lives shoot directly at innocent folks and pointed out that several unused drums of diesel supplied by Agip to power the community’s generation set was destroyed.