Soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) codenamed Operation Delta Safe have reportedly burnt down more that 20 houses in Ijansa community, Warri South West Council Area of Delta State.
Reports say the soldiers allegedly invaded the community over cases of illegal oil bunkering and set fire on some wooden boats coveying refined crude oil at the community waterside.
Sources disclosed that the fire lighted by soldiers later spread to the community, thus razing more that 20 houses including shops owned by the locals around Alokpagbene Quarters of the community.
A resident of the community, Chief Richard Evenen, told newsmen on Friday that the wide fire burnt properties worth millions of naira including the historical home of the founder of the community.
He said that many of the residents had gone to church when the soldiers invaded the community on Sunday Dec. 23, 2018.
“Last two weeks Sunday when most of our people have gone to church, we saw a flame from a far distance and when we rushed down it was fire. The whole place was surrounded with JTF soldiers and we later found out that the soldiers came all the way from Warri to burn our village.
“We are not involved in oil bunkering. There is no oil or pipeline situated around our community. Our only occupation is fishing but they had come to burn the entire village. Some of our elders and children got burnt in the process. There is nothing left in this village. The most elderly man in the community was burnt.
“I am appealing to the government both at the state and federal to come to our aid. We are suffering because there is no where to stay. Our people have nowhere to sleep or to stay. We are living like animals. We are pleading with the government to investigate the matter”, he said.