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Alleged Military Raid Sparks Outcry in Rivers State Community

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The Ebrass community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State is reeling from a trail of destruction reportedly left by soldiers from the Nigerian anti-bunkering surveillance team.

Residents say the soldiers conducted a raid and allegedly vandalized shops, and homes, and set several properties ablaze.

Eyewitnesses claim that the soldiers descended on the peaceful community early Friday morning, conducting an extensive house-to-house search for locally refined petroleum products.

The operation, however, seemed to have escalated into chaos, with provision stores looted and valuable belongings, including mattresses, wheelbarrows, generator sets, and palm oil, worth over N1 million, reportedly carted away.

"We were in utter shock and fear," said one resident, who preferred to remain anonymous. "We had no choice but to flee to nearby bushes, leaving behind everything we hold dear."

What particularly appalled the residents was the alleged desecration of their community's cultural heritage.

The soldiers were accused of damaging the windows of the community hall and setting ablaze the shrine of their revered deity.

  

Drums and musical instruments, symbolizing their identity and tradition, were carried off, further deepening the wounds inflicted upon the community.

Elders of Ebrass community have spoken up, demanding answers and accountability from the authorities.

Timothy Okpara, an elder of the community, expressed anguish over the relentless invasion, stating, "Our people are living in constant pain and trauma.

“We are a peaceful community, and there is no involvement in illegal oil refining here. This unwarranted destruction is an attack on our very way of life."

As the community mourns its losses, many are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighboring villages, seeking safety from potential future invasions.

  

The government has been urged to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged actions of the soldiers and hold those responsible for the deeds.

The absence of any official statement from the authorities has only added to the community's frustration and sense of vulnerability.


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