NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) in Bayelsa state has accused the Nigeria military deployed to Nembe community of extortion and harassment of the villagers.
CLO, in a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and copied to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the military were deployed to the area following the imposition of a three months curfew after the killing of five military personnel months ago by armed gunmen.
A statement issued in Yenagoa by the state Chairman, Chief Nengi James Eriworio informed that the military personnel sent to check points in Nembe following that incident, have now resorted to ‘extortion, indiscriminate shooting thereby creating fear among the rural populace.’
“We call on President Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff to review the imposition of curfew and call his men to order. Our people have suffered enough from dehumanization. We cannot continue as if the communities are at war.
“Reports from the preliminary investigation initiated by the group showed that instead of conducting a detailed investigation into the killing of the five military personnel and reviewing security report on the possible lifting of the curfew, the military has turned the curfew into a money making venture to destroy the economic activity of the people.”
The statement also alleged that, “most of the indigenes of Nembe communities can no longer go out early to fish or defecate by the water side as those caught were made to bail themselves”
The group’s Chairman also said the manager of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station in Nembe was abducted and robbed of the staff’s salaries.
James accused the military personnel of hijacking the tradition of the people and limiting them from observing their Friday burial rites.
“They have hijacked the tradition of the people and limited the burial rites of the people to Friday instead of the traditional kick off on Thursday.”
Efforts to get reactions from the Spokesman and the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign, Joint Military Task force, JTF, Lt Col Isa Ado proved abortive as several calls put through his cell phone were not answered.