Niger Delta activist and the Fiyewei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, has raised the alarm over the purported harassment and intimidation of community indigenes in Gbaramatu Kingdom by men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF).
Gbenekama alleged that JTF had stationed four gunboats in the Oporoza waterside jetty which have being causing serious tension and trauma in the area for reasons yet to be fathom even when there is no crisis in the area.
He, however for the seek of peace in the Niger Delta, called on the JTF Commander, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, to immediately call his men to order.
The activist in a press release signed and made available to BigPen Online in Warri on Thursday, alleged that the JTF team had stormed Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, at the wee hours of Thursday and started intimidating community members who were asked to raise their hands in the air for no just cause.
According to him, as if that was not enough, the JTF personnel later confiscated some speed boats belonging to the locals and towed them away to undisclosed location with no reason given whatsoever for the harassment.
“The Fiyewei (Spokesman) of the kingdom wondered why the mobilisation of armed security men to the traditional headquarters when the kingdom was not at war, stressing instead that the kingdom has been very peaceful especially with the kickoff of the Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko.
He recalls that just last week the JTF commander and all sectional comanders paid a courtesy call to the Palace of the Pere of Gbaramatu, HRM Oboro Gbaraun1, the Pere of Gbaramatu and wondered why the sudden offensive against the people of the area.
“We had a fruitful meeting with all sides vowing to keep the peace in the area. I wondered therefore, why two gunboats (with the inscription P376) are now stationed in Oporoza Jetty to intimidate our people”, he queried.
Gbenekama, however appealed to the leadership of the JTF, Rear Admiral Apochi, to wade into the matter urgently, to save community members who are yet to get over the bombardment of the kingdom from psychological trauma.
He also called on the Acting Governor of Delta state, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro to prevail on the JTF to leave the kingdom in peace, as nothing have actually happened in Gbaramatu kingdom to warrant the siege, he added.