Tony John, Port Harcourt
People of Okoma Community in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State have reportedly fled their homes following alleged invasion of the place by men of the Nigerian Army.
Daily Sun gathered that soldier invaded the community at the weekend, and burnt down several houses.
Sources from Okoma community, who claimed they are taking refuge in some neighbouring communities, denied knowledge of the cause of Army invasion.
Paramount ruler of the community, Felix Ogubie, said residents had moved to nearby communities for refuge following molestations from the Army personnel who invaded the area.
Ogubie said: “We were here in our house when soldiers came and started shooting and destroying houses. They said they were after oil thieves. They beat up women and men.
“They are the same people that were eating with those oil thieves. They came and burnt my house without any reason. I am not involved in what they are doing, so also others. They burnt many houses and our people have all left the community.
“The people doing this oil business are not from here. They come from other communities and states. When we report the boys to the security operatives, they will still inform the boys who gave them the information and the boys will go after such person”, he stated.
He called on the Federal and state governments to intervene in the matter, adding that the community has not resettled since the incidence, as military men still visit the area at intervals.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Charles Ekeocha, could not be reached for confirmation. He neither picked his calls nor replied to a text message sent to his mobile phone by the reporter.
In another development, two persons have lost their lives in Kpong community, Khana LGA of Rivers, following a cult clash between two rival groups.
A community source, Emmanuel Letam ,disclosed that there were sporadic shootings by suspected cultists on Sunday, but could not ascertain the groups involved.