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NAVAL OFFICERS BRUTALITY IN AWOYE, GBAGIRA, MESE AND ODOFADO COMMUNITIES IN ILAJE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, ONDO STATE.

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NAVAL OFFICERS BRUTALITY IN AWOYE, GBAGIRA, MESE AND ODOFADO COMMUNITIES IN ILAJE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, ONDO STATE.

It is with grief and sadness that, We, members of Ilaje Advancement Forum received the news of mass exodus and internal displacement of the peace loving Ilaje people in Awoye and other neighboring  communities.

It is extremely devastating this time around because it is not due to the perennial ocean attacks, usually occasioned by perpetual governments inactions and neglect, but because of repeated unprovoked attacks on the people by some assailant and agents of death masquerading as Nigerian Navy to perpetrate unwholesome act and using the four riverine communities as target Practice.

The Navy we know are perfect gentlemen whose white uniform epitomises dignity and complete professionalism. But those elements currently invading homes, looting shops, stealing every valuable in sight, beating up vulnerable women, children and elderly men are anything but naval Officers.

It is assumed that the Naval Officers deployed to the Igbokoda base are specially and specifically recruited,  trained, equipped and paid to assault, thwack , raid, molest, rape, inflict pains and grievous bodily harm on law abiding Ilaje citizens.

We are particularly disappointed by the attempted criminalisation of the entire Awoye, Gbagira, Mese and Odofado  communities over a crime allegedly committed by a handful of unknown individuals.

For the sake of clarity and correction of the flawed narrative of falsehood that had been fed to the public, it is imperative that we state categorically that the sea piracy and alleged murdering of some uniform men took place in Bayelsa state and not Ondo state as wildly publicized.

It is also on record that the said sea pirates who are neither from Ondo state nor Ilaje indigines had hitherto passed through Bayelsa state unhindered by security operatives. They also passed through Delta state unchallenged until they got to Ilaje territory in Ondo state where the patriotic act of the Ilaje people aided the arrest of those currently in custody.

While we understand the possibility of some individual hoodlum trying to steal guns in the ensuing melee while the operations lasted at Ilaje territory, it is however an abnormality for the Naval operatives to engage in full fledge war with the entire Ilaje communities over the incidence of a missing gun when they could have easily employed the conventional and potent method of intelligent gathering to fish out the alleged perpetrators.

This unfortunate Incident of mass brutality by Naval Officers against the law abiding Ilaje people resident in Awoye further questions the integrity of the Commanding officer.

We believe the inhumane treatment meted on the Awoye, Gbagira, Mese and Odofado citizens violates their fundamental human rights and contravenes the sacrosanct provisions of Section 33, 34, 35, 37, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

The Action of this Naval Officers is also prejudicial to Service discipline as enshrined in the provisos of Section 104(1), 107(1a-b), 108 and 110(a-b) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

On this note, we are making the following prayers:

1. Naval authorities should prevail on the rank and files wrecking havoc in Awoye and other Ilaje communities to immediately desist from this barbaric act.

2. The commanding officer should as a matter of urgency restitute those whose properties were destroyed and carted away by unknown naval officers within 7 days from the publication of this press release.

3. All naval officers involved in this dastardly misconduct should immediately be deployed to Borno state where their services is most needed.

4. OSOPADEC, NDDC and other interventionist agencies should take an inventory of properties destroyed with a view of mitigating the economic hardship imposed on the law abiding people of the mandate communities.

Signed.

Comrade Daodu Oluwajuwon George ~ Moderator

Mr. Oluwajuwon Ogunbiyi Esq.~ Chairman IAF Committee of Federal government affairs

Barr Ojamomi Fadeshola ~ HOD IAF’s Legal team


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