Tension, Anxiety In Rivers Community

…As Soldiers Revenge Attack, Killing Of Colleagues

There is palpable tension in Bille Kingdom of the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State as a result of the recent attack on the military outpost of the Tactical Division of the Nigerian Army at the Island.

Reports have it that the soldiers are seriously suspecting the Bille youths for the attack on the military outpost where some personnels were killed in cold blood and their weapons carted away.

The soldiers suspected that the youths must have felt that the soldiers posted to protect them in the hands of criminal elements in the area especially the sea pirates’ incessant attacks on the community with its resultant casualties is internal, an allegation which the Bille Kingdom has long denied and even added that “should the soldiers investigate, confirm and arrest anyone of them to be involved, the individuals or group should be dealt with according to the law of the land”.

Meanwhile, the Bille Kingdom through a press briefing in Port Harcourt is alleging that the military in their rage has invaded the Island in a house-to-house and church to church search, shooting sporadically and manhandling any moving object in sight to revenge the death of their colleagues as well as looting of their fire arms.

According to the Bille people, “the soldiers are so ruthless on the innocent Bille citizens even to the point of burning down every flying boat on sight at the River bank thereby adding salt on our injury,” they lamented.

The chairman, Bille Kingdom Chiefs Council, Chief (Barr) Benett Okpoki in a press release explained that the rampaging soldiers believed to be of the Nigerian Army stormed the Bille Town in many gun boats for the invasion but maintained that his people have nothing to do with the attack on the soldiers, saying they strongly believe that the pirates who have been attacking their passenger boats periodically in the past 10 years with a lot of casualties and losses on its trail must be behind the said attack on them.

The Bille Kingdom further lamented that despite their constant losses and victimization these past years which is well-known to the authorities, little or nothing has been done to ameliorate their security challenges.

“For instance, they pointed out, in 2017, the Kingdom visited the Government House, Port Harcourt and their host, Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who in turn promised to beef up security on the sea route with more gun boats to patrol and secure the area appears to have reneged on his promise as the situation has not change”, they said.

Meanwhile, you would recall that the latest attack of the pirates on the Bille Port Harcourt bound passenger boat last weekend left one person, late Mr. Impapamierari (a.k.a. pepekale) dead with many others seriously injured as usual.

The rampaging gunmen, they equally reasoned must have been responsible for the attack on the soldiers on their escape route, adding that it was illogical to think that the traumatized citizens will think of attacking their supposed protectors.


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