- Rivers state governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike yesterday, February 25, visited Yeghe and Bori, two towns that have witnessed violence in the last few days
- Wike declared that all those involved in the killing of innocent Ogoni people and residents of Ogoniland will be brought to justice
- Wike was accompanied to the towns by the led the state commissioner of police, Mr Musa Kimo and other top police officers
It was tears, sorrows and more tears as residents of Yeghe and Bori communities in Gokana local government area in Rivers state, trooped out in their numbers to express their grievances to Governor Nyesome Wike over the violence recorded in the area recently.
Thousands of wailing bereaved widows, youths, children, widowers and traders at Yeghe and Bori displayed photographs of loved ones killed by soldiers. They also displayed placards condemning the military operation that claimed the lives of their loved ones.
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The governor who was visibly upset with the destruction in the communities when he was taken round, declared that the military must subject itself to civil authority.
According to him, he is the chief security officer of the state and he was not informed of the operation that led to loss of innocent lives of Ogoni people and residents of the area.
Wike said: ''The Rivers state government will take up this unfortunate incident with the appropriate authorities. The military must subject itself to civil authority.
''I am the chief security officer of this state. Before any deployment of soldiers, I should be informed, but in this case I was not aware.
"I will always support the security agencies in the fight against criminals and criminality, but I will never support the killing of innocent persons. That is why I am here today for an on-the-spot assessment. I have seen for myself the destruction in Yeghe and the killings that took place. I went to the Mortuaries to see the corpses and the relatives of the deceased confirmed they were killed in the operation.
"I have told security agencies to be careful so that they are not misled by politicians. As your governor, I have never used soldiers because I don't need them. When I see people not in government moving around with soldiers, I am surprised. If you are popular with your people, you have no reason to move with soldiers."
The governor however appealed to the people not to take laws into their hands even as he denied ever making inflammatory statements on the Ogoni political arena.
Bari Zikpo, a retired police officer, told the governor that his first son was killed in the ill-fated operation by the military. He said the operation claimed many others in the town.
In Bori, David Gbarazie informed the governor that he lost his brother to the military operation.
Also in Bori, the Igbo community informed Wike that the military killed some traders in front of their shops.
Spokesman for the Igbo traders in Bori, Mr Michael Akuchi said a trader Livinus Nwafor and his brother Kelechi Nwafor were killed by soldiers.