JOSHUA Macaiver, caretaker committee chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council, and chiefs of the area on Thursday in Yenagoa, condemned the killing of three security personnel of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Foropa Community.
He, however, absolved the community in the incident saying the perpetrators were not from Foropa.
Speaking with journalists in Government House, shortly after the meeting convened by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, he described the incident as unfortunate, but assured that they would collaborate with the government and security agencies to apprehend and arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
While commiserating with the federal government and families of the three soldiers over the incident, Macaiver said the attack occurred at a time when the council was working hard to ensure that Southern Ijaw becomes one of the most peaceful areas in the state.
He said the people of Southern Ijaw LGA would not rest on their oars until those behind the killing of the three soldiers are brought to justice, stressing that, the local government would not condone any form of violence and criminal activities that would threaten the peace of the area.
According to him, the people of Foropa have fled their community for fear of invasion by soldiers, adding that Dickson appealed to the people to return to their community as he has the assurances of the federal government that no harm would befall them.
He said, “Governor Dickson has assured that the people should return to their community. As we speak, there is nobody in the community for fear that soldiers would invade Foropa. The Governor believes the community is not part of what happened.”
In his remarks, Ebi Llyod Alamene, traditional ruler of Apoi Kingdom, also decried the incident and expressed the community’s readiness to go into the creeks and surrounding villages to fish out those who committed the crime.
He said: “Foropa Community is not a militant abode and we do not harbour criminals and hoodlums. The JTF has been with us for over 5 years and so they know how peaceful we are. These persons came from the river and operated and left so we too are looking for them.
“Concerning the incident that happened on May 10, our hearts are bleeding. This is because we don’t believe in violence in Foropa. The Army has come to settle down with us and Foropa has been peaceful. We condemn the killing by all standards and we will never support it.
“We can never be for it. We are ready to cooperate with the government to go into the creeks and the surrounding villages, wherever they are to fish them out and hand them over to the government. We are a harmless people; we don’t have guns, but we can give information.”
— May 12, 2016 @ 18:00 GMT