Rampaging Nigerian soldiers have reportedly invaded Okobe community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, killing two persons and burning three houses.
Community sources told SaharaReporters that the soldiers were attached to a pipeline surveillance security team of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The incident, according to the sources, happened last Friday, noting that no fewer than 10 people were arrested.
One of the sources told SaharaReporters that the community was yet to know what prompted the attack, adding that oil companies and security agencies in the region in the past accused residents of vandalising oil pipelines and engaging in oil theft.
A legal practitioner, Tuduru Ede, SAN, an indigene of the community told local radio station in Port Harcourt on Saturday, that the invasion and burning of people’s houses were illegal.
The lawyer called on Agip to caution its surveillance team and condemned the invasion and indiscriminate arrest of people in the community, adding that the incident had affected economic and social activities in the area.
He said that numerous people have fled the community. According to him, it is illegal to sack communities and burn their houses, noting that it encourages criminality and a quest for vengeance.
“I am calling on Nigeria Agip Oil Company to ensure that its security operatives and contractors do not go to Okobe to be harassing community indigenes. They should not go there to indiscriminately arrest anybody in the name of looking for people indulging in illegal oil bunkering,” he was quoted to have said.
Revenge attacks on communities by soldiers are common in the Niger Delta region.
SaharaReporters last Wednesday reported that soldiers invaded Bille, a community in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, over the killing of some soldiers by suspected pirates.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Nigerian Army were unsuccessful as the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu did not answer his calls or respond to text message enquiries about the incident.
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