Voice of America

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against the risk of derailing the ongoing peace process in the Niger Delta through the current military Operation Crocodile Smile exercise in the creeks.

President of the group, Mr Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, gave the warning in a statement made available on Saturday, in Warri, Delta State.

He condemned the reported military aggression against folks in the creeks of the Niger Delta, particularly the alleged destruction of houses in Ajakurama community, sharing boundary between Edo and Delta states.

According to him, the reasons advanced by the military operatives for invading some Ijaw communities are not tenable.

He said there was no militant camps in the communities.

“The ongoing military drill in the Niger Delta code named Operation Crocodile Smile 11 has become a launch pad for the Federal Government to invade peaceful Niger Delta communities.

“The recent unprovoked invasion of Ajakurama Community in Edo State is a manifestation of the military planned invasion of Ijaw communities in the riverine areas in the name of looking for militants’ camps.

“IYC has it on good authority that several riverine Ijaw communities in Edo and Ondo states have been tipped for invasion by the military under the cover of Operation Crocodile Smile 11.

“Ijaw people are not at war with the Federal Government. The military should not instigate crisis in the region. IYC President, Mr Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, condemns, in its entirety, the destruction of Ajakurama Community.

“The excuse the military gave in destroying the community is unjustifiable. There are no militants’ camps in Ajakurama community,” he averred.

He cautioned that the military offensive in the creeks was creating unnecessary tension and might ignite another round of hostilities in the region if not halted.

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