His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta
State, on Monday, raised the alarm that his life was in serious danger following last Saturday’s invasion of Oporoza community, his home town, by the military.
The monarch raised the alarm when the Special Adviser to the
President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator, Presidential Amnesty, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), paid an unscheduled visit to his Palace in Oporoza, calling on the government to come to his rescue.
Our correspondent, who was on the entourage of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, reported that Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, was now a ghost town as the once bubbling coastal community had been deserted following the onslaught by the military, who took over the community in search of re-invented militant group called the Niger Delta Avengers.
HRM Oboro Gbaraun 11, who was visibly touched by unfolding episode of persistent invasion of his kingdom and the unpalatable experience of the 2009 bombing by the military, said he felt threatened by the presence of the military in Oporoza as nobody knew the fate that would befall them as the military had occupied houses vacated by his subjects.
“They came with a swarm of army, beat up people, loot our houses, descended on our people, humiliated my people and even injured an 80-year- old chief. Some women are even looking for their children. I sit down here seeing the military parade my people as if they are criminals. I am in deeply pains. I cannot move out of this palace. In fact, I am under arrest. All my chiefs have ran away from the community. I am here alone and I don’t know what will happen to me next. The soldiers are now the owners of this kingdom.”
“We are a peace loving people, but I don’t know why the government will treat me this way. You don’t have to judge a kingdom from Abuja or Lagos. You have to come down the way you are here and see for yourself. But they are judging us from Abuja, Lagos. Help us rescue that old man and myself here. I am in danger as you can see. You met me here in the dark. I am in the dark. Before this time, I told them that we are prepared to work with government. We have been working with government before now and I don’t know why they are treating us this way. I am in danger. I am in the dark. They have switched off the generating set that supply electricity. No water, even since morning I have not taken my bath. I am afraid. No member of my community is around. They have invaded my palace, claimed some houses. I want to say that I am in danger,” the monarch said.
While saying that they were not criminals to deserve such inhuman treatment, as the military have bluntly turned down efforts to get them discuss with him, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom said, “I want government to come to my rescue. I know that they are under order but that does not mean they should not discuss with me. We are not happy. We are not Avengers. We are not hiding militants in Gbaramatu Kingdom.”
Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Matters, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh noted that the military was in Oproza community to cordon and search for arms and other military-related items in the hands of the people, as well as keep the peace, ensure stability
and not to molest them in view of the recent pipeline bombings by a new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
Brig. Gen. Boroh who was flanked by his Chief of Staff, Col. Dedis Abel (rtd), described the effect of the activities of the NDA as “economic sabotage”, pointing out that it was affecting the nation’s economy. He added that investors and their investments were being threatened by the activities of the NDA, adding that would-be investors were being driven away by hostilities in the region.
“It is important enough because the activities happening in this our area now is affecting the economy of the country, it is affecting our land. It is affecting all of us and the government is very concerned about it. We cherish peace and we believe peace is the most important thing that we all will enjoy. The presence of the military here is also for peace. We didn’t come to create scenes. They came to ensure there is stability and I will want us to key into them.
I understand that when an order of this nature is given, they will just be around as a deterrent force to ensure there is peace, stability. People should not be afraid of their presence. I’ve come to discuss issues of peace with you so that there can be stability in the whole region,” he stated.