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Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, on Thursday pledged that his panel would ensure a thorough investigation into the allegation of military invasion of about four communities in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
He stated this when the Civil Liberties Organisation and the traditional ruler of Mene Bua-Yeghe community in Ogoniland, Chief Barinaada Gbaranee, defended their separate petitions against the Nigerian Army before the committee.
Gbaranee, a third class monarch in the oil-rich area, told the senators that the unlawful occupation of his territory and three other communities by soldiers, started Monday 22 February.
He explained that the armed military personnel allegedly invaded his community, and invaded the house of a former Niger Delta militant, Mr . Solomon Ndigbara, vandalized his cars, and buildings without just cause.
Prior to the invasion and attack, the monarch said that the soldiers had allegedly arrested Ndigara’s wife and his siblings.
The monarch said, “The military occupation of Ogoniland, escalated on 23 February to the extent that the army engaged themselves in the brutal killing of men, women and children numbering about 12.
“The continuous shootings against the harmless and defenseless peace loving people of Ogoniland, led to the displacement of natives of even neighbouring towns as Zaakpon and Wiiyakara communities, in fact even extending up to Babbe Kingdom.
“Consequent upon this, all economic activities in Ogoniland especially Bori town and other adjoining villages have been grounded to a halt.
“Men, Women and children have deserted their homes and are taking refuge in the bush and forest due to heavy presence of the military personnel, patrolling in armoured csrs with sophisticated weapons.”
The monarch lamented that Ogoniland had remained peaceful prior to the military invasion and therefore urged the senators to use their legislative powers to stop the killings and tension.