Barely 48 hours after the killing of a soldier and a militant, Ossy Ibori in Ajakpa community in Eseodo Local Government area of Ondo State, the community leaders on Wednesday raised the alarm over the alleged attack of the community by military men attached to Operation Delta Safe.
The community leaders also alleged that not less 5,000 houses have been raised down and over by the soldiers who they alleged were trying to revenge the killing of their man .
Speaking through a retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Tonye Ebitibituwa, at a press conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital , theAjakpa Community,said about 30,000 inhabitants of the community have been rendered homeless after their residences were set ablaze.
While saying they did not support the criminal activities of Ibori who had relocated from Lagos to the community,Ebitibituwa said the people of Ajakpa have been living in fear since Sunday when there was shootout between the military and the militants leading to causalities on both sides.
He said through the military action , humanitarian crisis had been created in the riverine community.
According to him, “on 30th of April, we received the information that some criminal elements that relocated from Lagos had encounter with the Military. The military intervened and there was shootout between Ibori and the military.
“The military had been there since May 1. But yesterday, the military invaded our community and raised the whole community. As we speak, only churches are standing in the community.
“The Ajakpa community condemned in its entirety the attack on the military and the killing of military men. The community is not in support of Ibori. The ongoing military action should wear human face and the rule of engagement should be adhered to. Setting the entire town ablaze is unnecessary.”
He appealed to the military to sheathe their sword and avoid further humanitarian crisis, if the military action in the community is not halted.
His words: “We appealed to the State government to intervene between the community and the military. We the Community Leader also appealed to the law enforcement agent not to wipe out the entire community because of the misdeed of an individual.
“Ajakpa community had been rendered homeless. Ondo State government should save the innocent lives of the people of the community. We called on the state government to mitigate the humanitarian crisis that was caused as a result of the shootout between the military and the militants.”
In his reaction, the spokesperson of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Capt Ojo Adenegan, however said he was not aware of any humanitarian crisis in the coastal community saying the activities of the military is to flush out criminals from the creeks.
Adenegan said ” Our men never involved in the burning of the houses in Ajakpa. Our business is to maintain peace in the area and flush out other members of the militant group who are still hiding in the creek.
“We want to assured the people that Army in Ondo state will not give room to militancy in Ondo state. we are not involved in burning of houses. If there is any crisis , they should look elsewhere to know where the crisis is coming from. “