Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
A six-month-old baby, her mother and two other persons have allegedly been killed by military operatives during a security operation at Oluasiri clan in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The incident, which occurred on Thursday reportedly caused uproar in the riverside community.
Community sources said the incident claimed the lives of one Mr. Wilson Patason, Madam Beauty Christian and her six-month-old baby and an unnamed person. Many other persons were also said to be on a critical list with various degrees of injuries.
It was learnt that the military operation was launched to dislodge suspected militants and sea pirates allegedly hiding in the Oluasiri community.
While some security personnel claimed the soldiers opened fire into the community following gunshot attacks from the suspected militants, the indigenes of Oluasiri community debunked the claim, insisting that the military attack was unprovoked.
A source, who craved anonymity, said that though some suspected sea pirates and militants had been residing within the community, they were in the community forcefully.
He said the operation might have been informed by the lawlessness and ruthlessness of the armed militants.
He claimed, “But as you know, these boys also pay some military men and may have been tipped off by some of their military friends. They had left the community before soldiers arrived.
“The soldiers arrived in six gunboats and started shooting indiscriminately. It is sad and unprofessional. “
But the Oluasiri community in a statement on Friday described as “reckless and nefarious” the wanton invasion of Ben-Ama and Tengele-Ama by the Nigerian military.
The community in a statement jointly signed by the President of Oluasiri Development Union, Gamage Difurotogu, and the President of Oluasiri Youth Federation, Kienworio Tanga, called on the Federal Government and Civil Liberties Organisation to carry out an investigation in order to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.
The community said, “The incident is show of stark recklessness for the military to invade hitherto peaceful communities with six gunboats, causing undue pandemonium, all in the name of searching for suspected criminals in the area.
“The people of the affected communities are law-abiding citizens. It was malicious for security agents to carry out the act. We urge the Nigerian military to go and search for the criminals at their various hideouts in the creeks, as no Oluasiri community is a safe haven to criminals.”