The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), has asked the Rivers State’s governor, Nyesom wike to end the curfew in Oyigbo local government area of the state.
The Niger Delta-based group asked the army to remember that the soldiers were not fighting against Boko Haram or carrying out a peacekeeping mission in the local government.
The group criticized the army’s alleged act of entering into people’s houses to search for weapons reportedly stolen from six of their dead colleagues.
“Advocacy Centre is visibly worried that with residents of a metropolitan city like Oyigbo, including the elderly ones, the sick, pregnant women, children and other vulnerable members of that local government locked down indoors for over ten days now and counting, some of them may already be dying silently in their houses.
“Advocacy Centre believes that two wrongs cannot make a right and calls on the Rivers State Government to kindly lift the curfew imposed on Oyigbo local government area and Ikoku in Port Harcourt without further delays to enable affected persons who are yet to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns breathe fully.”
According to the statement from the group, the hoodlums who carried out the attack would have since left Oyigbo.
It partly reads, “We have observed through reports being monitored, also through Advocacy Centre in the area, that men of the Nigerian Army, whose personnel were allegedly killed and their arms carted away by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are carrying out both land and air operations with helicopters and Armored Personnel Carriers similar to what is obtained in the war against Boko Haram insurgency in Sambisa Forest in Borno State right here in Oyigbo, Rivers State.
“It is essential that the ongoing military operations are carried out within rules of engagement and should wear a human face because we are not at war as obtained within either Boko Haram or Peacekeeping Operations in Borno or South Sudan.
“The Rivers State Government and Federal Government through the security formations should endeavour to avoid massive human rights violations and abuses as being alleged through the invasion of houses to search for the alleged perpetrators of the dastardly act who would no longer be anywhere close to Oyigbo by now for fear of being arrested and their weapons that must not have been hidden in any house by the hoodlums for fear of being found,” it added.
The group said justice must be found for the members of the army, the police force and the civilians murdered in Oyigbo.