The People of Egbema kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State have cried out to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and other concerned to urgently deliver them from a military siege presently taken place in the kingdom.
They said due to the luckdown on their kingdom by the military since July 2nd, the people of the kingdom have been held hostage hence they have been unable to get themselves food and medical care, lamenting that they are dying in hunger while the military is bringing food to its personnel in operation.
A statement signed by elder Edmund Doyah Tiemo, President, Egbema Leaders of Thought and addressed to Chief of Army Staff, Delta State Governor, JTF Commander, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and other concerned authorities, which was made available to INFO DAILY, argued that the siege of the kingdom by military is outright violation of fundamental rights of the people to movement as enshrined in Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“While they denied our people food and medical attention; the Army moved food to soldiers who guide critical oil facilities in their fatherland! They have food, light and medical attention in their facilities in our territory, yet, as if it is not enough punishment that we lack these essential commodities,” he said.
Elder Tiemo who said trouble actually started when some hoodlums allegedly attacked a Military Base Station at Obodo, Warri South Local Government Area, where soldiers were allagedly killed by the gunmen, noted that before the incident on July 2nd, people of the kingdom who were on peacekeeping mission in the riverrine communitie were also attacked too, lamenting that the people of the kingdom suffer same fate.
He said it would be therefore wrong to punish a kingdom of over 200,000 people because of a crime committed by few persons.
“The background to this crisis is the alleged attacked of a Military Base Station at Obodo in Warri South Local Government Area, where soldiers were allagedly killed by hoodlums. Although, no official statement on the attack has been issued by the military Joint Task Force (JTF). The soldiers had told passengers on the Benin River and Gelegele axis of the attack, thus justifying the lockdown at Egbema since the 2nd of July, 2021 when the incident reportedly occurred.
“Before this incident, another one was reported on the 28th June, 2021, few kilometers from the scene as the Egbema Peace keepers came under attack by unidentified gunmen, leading to loss of several lives. Thus, the military operatives who were attacked are victims just like the Ijaws in the area were also victims of criminal attacks. Therefore, it would be wrong for people who have suffered same magnitude of losses to be subjected to this horror.
“Why on earth should the innocent populace suffer because of the crime of an unidentified few?,” He questioned.
While calling for investigation and arrest of the perpetratos, elder Tiemo appealed to authorities concerned including President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the military to open the kingdom form normal activities.
Calls put across to the Commanding Officer, Koko, Delta State were unsuccessful as they were not picked. SMS sent to his cellphone was not replied.