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Women Protest Military Invasion Of Niger-Delta Community
Women of Gbaramatu Kingdom, a predominantly fishing community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, took to the streets on Monday to protest the continued invasion of their area by men of the Nigerian military.
The women called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency withdraw the soldiers whom they claim had been harassing and intimidating youths in the area who for about a week now.
The protesters had gathered at Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of the Gbaramatu kingdom, the women claim that the incessant harassment of their kinsmen by the soldiers have left many of them traumatised and finding it difficult to cope
Gbaramatu kingdom has been on the forefront of the renewed militant activities especially with the coming of the so called Niger Delta Avengers group, which has claimed responsibility for blowing up the country’s oil and gas facilities in the region
Journalists who visited the area observed that fishing activities, which used to be the major source of income for residents in the area, had died down.
The women drawn from neighbouring communities also alleged that soldiers broke into their homes, ransacking everywhere and carting away valuables.
They lament the fact that the presence of the military in their communities which was expected to prevent further destruction of National Assets in the region, has now become a source of tension for the residents, as everybody now live and move in fear.
Some of them also claimed that the invasion of the soldiers had sent panic round the communities, causing residents to flee their homes and seek cover in the bushes.
The spokesman of the Joint Task Force, was however unavailable for confirmation and questioning about the purpose of the invasion.
Recall the Gbaramatu is the hometown of notorious Niger-Delta freedom fighter, Government Ekpemupolo, commonly called Tompolo.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Tompolo (in absentia) at the Federal High Court in Lagos in Lagos, accusing him of involvement in a N34 billion fraud.
Tompolo has since been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency.