The Ijaw National Congress on Friday said that many Ijaw people, including children and women were still missing after military invasion of Gbaramatu communities in the Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
This is even as military sources said that soldiers had begun pulling out of Oporoza, the hometown of ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.
Speaking at a press briefing in Warri, Delta State, INC National Secretary, Dr. Bibobra Orubebe, said there were growing numbers of internally displaced persons being currently trapped in the creeks.
He, however, called on the international community and humanitarian agencies to come to the aid of the IDPs, who he said were on the edge of dying from hunger.
Orubebe said, “As we speak, the whereabouts of many Ijaw people are unknown. Children who went to do the National Examination Council are stranded in the forest. We call on all parties to declare unconditional ceasefire and give way for dialogue.”
He urged the Federal Government to embrace the stick and carrot approach towards ending militancy in the Niger Delta, adding that the use of force would not guarantee peace.
Meanwhile, military personnel have begun pulling out of Gbaramatu communities, a day after a new militant group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, issued a 48-hour ultimatum for soldiers to leave the region or risk attack.
A top military chief, who confirmed the incident, told our correspondent on Friday that they were not pulling out because of the militants’ threat.
The source added that their operation was billed to last for a week, hence their leaving.