AT least, two persons have been reportedly injured in alleged midnight sporadic shootings on Monday by Navy personnel into Naifor Island (opposite Warri), an Ijaw community in Warri South- West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The victims, Mr. and Mrs. Tiemo, it was gathered, were part of Gbaramatu residents who fled their homes during last Saturday’s military invasion of Oporoza town to the area for safety.
Alarmed by the incident, aggrieved villagers, however, took the wounded victims to the Naval Base, which is directly opposite Naifor Island, and left them for treatment.
But the Ijaw Youth Council, the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, in the statement on Tuesday, said what the military was presently doing in Ijaw communities of Delta and Bayelsa states amounted to genocide against their people.
The group’s spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, said the people, especially women and children, were in serious danger of massive death, if they were not urgently rescued from the rampaging soldiers.
“In parts of Ogbe-Ijoh, especially the Naifor Island (opposite Warri), the Navy, throughout the night of May 30th to May 31st, shot sporadically into the communities and in the process, a couple (Mr. and Mrs. Tiemo) were critically wounded.
“Ironically, this couple only recently ran to Naifor Island to escape the military onslaught. The villagers, in desperation, took the critically injured couple to the Navy base, where they left them for the Navy. The state of this couple from Ayakoromo community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State is still unknown at the time of issuing this statement”, the statement added.
Recalling a similar incident in the area about a month ago, it stated, “Therefore, there is no singular justification why the Navy has decided to use that particular community as its main target to justify the huge sum of money allocated to them to find the Avengers.”
It appealed to Nigerians and the United Nations to quickly come to the rescue of the Ijaw people in the Niger Delta.
But the Navy, in its reaction, dismissed the allegation, saying it was a mere rumour that cannot be substantiated.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Navy Ship, Lieutenant Lamu, told our correspondent on the telephone that the report was untrue.