Soldiers who are reportedly searching for persons who allegedly beheaded their colleague have purportedly burned down over 50 houses in Toru-Ndoro community, Bayelsa State.
Wherefore the umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, appealed to the military authorities to arrest culprits rather than resort to bombing and razing of buildings in Toru-Ndoro.
The military authorities had reportedly deployed their men on Saturday in Toru-Ndoro in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in search of suspected hoodlums who allegedly beheaded a soldier.
The President of IYC, Mr. Eric Omare, said the group had received several distress calls from residents of Toru-Ndoro community to the effect that military officers on a manhunt for alleged killers of a security operative had invaded and burnt more than 50 houses.
Omare, in a statement on Sunday, urged the military authorities to focus on the search for the killers of the soldier rather than engaging in arson and destruction of the community.
He said, “From Saturday, January 6 to the early hours of Sunday, January 7, 2018, the IYC has received several distress calls from residents of Toru-Ndoro community, to the effect that military officers on a manhunt for alleged killers of a security operative have invaded and burnt more than 50 houses.
“The IYC in the strongest terms condemns the alleged decapitation of a security operative by some criminals operating within the Ndoro area and we strongly support efforts to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice.
“However, we hold the strong view that it is extremely wrong and condemnable for security agents to invade and burn down an entire community in the name of looking for criminals, just as it has happened in other Niger Delta communities such as Odi in Bayelsa State, Ajapa in Ondo State, Ajakarama in Delta State and now Toru-Ndoro in Bayelsa.
“We demand that the few persons who are involved in criminality should be separated from the rest of the community and made to face the full weight of the law.
“The IYC, the Ijaw nation in particular and Niger Deltans in general do not support the activities of the few criminal elements.
“We have, several times, expressed our determination to work with security agencies to fish out these criminals because it is not our way of life.”