By Fegor Oghene, Asaba
The leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has accused theÂ military of violating a ceasefire agreement between the FederalÂ Government and the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).In a statement signed by its Spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, the IYC saidÂ it was wrong for the military to invade some communities in GbaramatuÂ Kingdom, Delta State, at a time the government was planning to holdÂ discussions with the militant group causing violence in the region.
According to Omare, the sudden presence of the military in theÂ communities had raised doubts over the sincerity of the government toÂ initiate peace in the region through dialogue.
“The Federal Government cannot in one breath declare ceasefire and atÂ the same time forcefully invade Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu KingdomÂ of Delta State allegedly looking for militants”, he said.
He said in the early hours ofÂ Wednesday, the military stormed TebujorÂ community, a clan in Gbaramatu shooting sporadically into the air.
He said the military operatives apprehended six youths from theÂ community over allegations of pipeline vandalism.
He identified the arrested youths as Eddy Ikpidi, Tekena Uka, DboyÂ Oboko, Jamaica Oboko, Coasta Kelly Tortor and Atani Yawuru.
But Omare said: “While we do not support sabotage of oil facilitiesÂ considering the negative effects on our environment, the IYC seriouslyÂ frowns and condemns the continuous invasion and harassments of IjawÂ communities and innocent people by the military under the guise ofÂ looking for pipeline vandals.
“The military has no reason to embark on continuous invasion of IjawÂ communities and arrest our people in the name of looking for AvengersÂ or pipeline vandals. Our communities and people are peaceful and lawÂ abiding people.