Friday, 2 September 2016

Hunger Hits Delta And Bayelsa Following ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’

Hunger Hits Delta And Bayelsa Following ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’
Artificial food crises hit some riverine areas of Delta and Bayelsa States due to the side-effects of the Operation Crocodile Smile initiated by the Nigerian Army.
According to Vanguard, communities like Oporoza, Ogulagha in Delta State, and Ezetu, Aggeh in Bayelsa have been adversely affected by transportation issues as people have been forced to stay indoors in the fear of harassment by fierce-looking soldiers guarding the waterways with heavy arms.
The self-restriction on movement has affected food supplies in the regions with the people groaning in hunger and pains due to scarcity. This has directly affected the activities of fishermen who have steered clear off the waterways in the fear of imminent trouble.
Meanwhile, the sector One of Operation Delta Safe, the new Joint Task Force in Niger Delta, has announced several arrests and seizures barely one month after it commenced its fight against oil theft and sundry crimes in its area of operation.
However, Akperhe Olomu community, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, has accused authorities of new military task force, Operation Crocodile Smile of lying about Wednesday’s arrest of Mrs. Amrevweatefa Odada, a septuagenarian and three others still in custody at the 3 Battalion, Effurun Barracks.
Others arrested along with the septuagenarian in Akperhe at 3a.m., Wednesday were Vincent Ekeke, Henry Koko alongside Mrs. Rachael Abbah, who was earlier arrested in Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North council.

The army in a statement same day by Col. Sani Usman, Director Army Public Relations, Abuja, had however, indicated that a patrol team of its troops of 222 Battalion, 4 Brigade arrested the quartet at the Ughelli residence of Gabriel Ogbudje, an alleged suspected militant still at large.
At Akperhe yesterday, the community spokesman, Sunday Okoyoyo told a correspondent that, “We are very angry as a community. The army told half truth to give the arrested old woman and the three other bad names. Gabriel Ogbudje whom they are looking for resides in Ughelli, not Akperhe.”

However, reacting to the alleged harassment of the locals, Ijaw leader, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, told Vanguard in Warri, yesterday: “There is a humanitarian crisis in Gbaramatu as we speak. The Crocodile Smile soldiers have not moved directly into the communities, but they have taken over the waterways, scaring and harassing those going about their normal businesses.
“What that means is that our people are now confined in their homes. They cannot go out or travel on the waterways, which sustain their existence as riverine communities. The panic is aggravated by the report reaching them that army has taken over Warri township too.”

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