There were indications of a palpable pandemonium and consternation in the community of Oporoza, traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, following the indiscriminate shooting by soldiers deployed to crush the Niger Delta Avengers.
It was gathered that soldiers sent by the Nigerian Defense Headquarters to rein in the activities of the militants within that area, arrived the community in at least 4 warships and at about 2:00am and then laid siege till 8:00am on Saturday morning.
It is said that the soldiers in battalions shot sporadically and randomly, causing more confusion in the riverine town.
A source said, villagers, who ran into the forest on sighting them with gunboats were yet to return, as soldiers, who came in search of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and members of the Niger Delta Avengers, have taken over the community.
Speaking to Vanguard Newspaper on Saturday morning, an Ijaw leader, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, said:
“Soldiers have started shooting in Oporoza as I speak to you now, I do not know the casualty, but they are shooting right now, the whole town is in turmoil.”
His words: “I am crying on behalf of my people, we have been saying before now that we do not know what the military is looking for in Oporoza, they have come two times before now in the last few weeks. We said then that they were looking for excuse to start shooting, now they are shooting, we do not know what will happen after the shooting.”
Another source added: “The military is currently shooting randomly in Oporoza but we do not know whether it was aimed at anybody because we are still in the forest. We ran into the forest this morning.”