By Kelvin Utebor
WARRI: Group, under the agis of Delta Communities Transparency Advocacy Initiative (DCTAI), has raised concerns over the alleged involvement of military personnel in fueling community crisis as well as the illicit oil trades, popularly known as illegal bunkering across the state.
Making the allegations in a petition addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Warri yesterday, the group demanded urgent measures in nipping the allegations it has raised against the military in the bud.
In the petition signed by its national Coordinator, Chief Matthew Edafe and Secretary, Comrade Philip Onokpite, the body specifically mentioned Ovuorie, Efie, Madagho and Evwreni communities in Delta state as areas where alleged military sabotage were mostly prevalent.
According to the statement; “In the case of Ovuorie community, Ethiope East Local Government Area, we have it on good authority that the military were working inconjunction with the cartel that specialises in crude oil theft through the pipeline right of way that transverse the community to siphon crude”.
“We are also aware that the personnel deployed to man strategic security post along the major highways in the community are involved in extortion of motorists using the local indigenes as front to collect monies from commercial vehiches, tricycles and Okada at every check point”.
“In the case of Madagho, an Itsekiri settlement in Warri South West, as well as the Benin River and Koko axis, the story is not different, as our investigations had revealed that the military, especially the Army and Navy are involved in the various illegal bunkering activities going on there”, the group stated.
“In the case of Evwreni community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta state, our findings revealed that the protracted crisis among the kinsmen was escalated as a result of the bias of the military deployed to maintain law and order in the area.
“We have been able to establish the fact that some of them (the military) deployed to maintain law and order there, had been bought over and are now taking side with the few influential individuals who are desperately out to suppress the wish of the majority in the community”.
“From the foregoing therefore, we urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to call his men in Delta state to order, inorder to protest the integrity of the military as an institution that symbolizes the strength of the nation.”