OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has condemned in strong terms reported acts of destruction perpetrated by the Nigerian military in Bayelsa and urged the Chief of Defence Staff to order the immediate further invasion and destruction of communities in the State.
The lawmakers also condemned, in strong terms, recurring attacks on oil & gas installations and facilities in the Bayelsa State while calling on community leaders to prevail on youths to explore lawful means of pursuing their demands in their domains.
The above resolutions were reached by way of a motion of urgent national importance brought by Mr. Preye Influence Oseke (PDP, Bayelsa) and four others on Thursday during plenary.
Mr. Preye Oseke while leading debate on the matter noted that Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) creates the Nigerian Armed Forces for the purpose of defending Nigeria from external aggression and maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air.
He however said that the problem of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region, which the military rely on to allegedly cause mayhem in the area has already been taken care of by the late President Umaru Yar’adua administration which commissioned a Joint Military Task Force.
He said that recently, there was a military operation near Southern Ijaw federal constituency, Bayelsa State which has put communities in Odi, Ezetu, Letugbene, Agge, Bilabiri l and 2, Azagbene in grave fright.
According to him, that the invasion and destruction of communities is now the pattern adopted by the military in Bayelsa State whenever indigenes from these communities are suspected to have carried out any act against oil installations.
“It puts the innocent and law abiding citizens of the area in double jeopardy as they suffer attacks from the same unguided elements who rob and terrorize people and also reprisal attacks from our tax-funded military. This is devastating enough for people who are citizens of this country,” he said, adding:
“The armed forces cannot afford to exhibit such uncivilized acts even in the face of provocative acts of citizens who they are supposed to protect. Rather, the military should engage their very efficient intelligence agencies to conduct thorough investigation and apply surgical precision raids to bring these miscreants to justice as we are fully in support of such.”
The motion was unanimously adopted when Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put the question and referred to relevant committees to report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.