Gunmen dressed in army uniform on Sunday June 16th invaded B.Dere community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers state.
The village head of Vopba community, Chief Menele Gberegbara was shot dead in the attack and his body taken away by the military men.
A source in the area said, “Heavily armed soldiers from the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army are raiding, destroying houses and shooting sporadically in the Gio community and other areas in the Tai Local Government Area (Ogoniland) of Rivers State.
“There were reports that a gang, suspected to comprise oil thieves/cultists, attacked the NSCDC and army personnel guarding an oil pipeline near the main tarred road that leads to the embattled Gio.
“One soldier, two NSCDC officials were killed and their guns taken away by the rampaging criminals last night (Saturday). Today (Sunday), the soldiers and NSCDC personnel invaded the area to avenge their men’s death.
“Not all the poor villagers, who are now suffering, were part of the criminal gang. They are paying the price of what they never bargained for.”
The source, who did not want his name mentioned, stated that the rampaging soldiers also invaded the Christ Army Church in K-Dere and arrested five worshippers.
“Soldiers, on Sunday, ransacked the Gio community in the Tai Local Government Area and swooped on the nearby K-Dere, B-Dere communities in Gokana Local Government Area in an operation to avenge the death of their man and the two NSCDC officers in the now deserted Gio community,” the source added.
When contacted, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, confirmed the killing of one soldier and two NSCDC officials, but stated that the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, would soon issue a statement on the matter.
Also, the Rivers State Sector Commander of the NSCDC, Mr Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the death of two of his men in the hands of the syndicate.
“The hoodlums came in their large number and killed one soldier and two of our men. The NSCDC has been on the ground there. We have divisions there; we are in Gio 1, Gio 2, Manifold and other areas guarding the pipelines,” Mohammed said.
He, however, stated that the NSCDC did not take part in the attack on any part of Ogoniland, adding that the corps had begun investigation into the incident that led to the death of its personnel.
“We are not part of any attack. If there is any operation going on there, we are not part of it. We have not received any order to embark on any operation there. But we are still investigating the matter,” he added.
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