Femi Foleranmi, Yenagoa
Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has been deserted following an alleged military invasion.
According to investigations, the people of the community fled on Friday after troops allegedly invaded the community in search of some suspects
Sources said the suspects were fingered in the killing of some military personnel in December 2019.
Community sources said the troops that came in 16 gunboats were searching for the suspects; they razed down houses and destroyed property forcing many of the indigenes to flee into the forest to escape arrest.
The chairman of Bilabiri community, Mr. Esau Darosha, in a Save-our-Souls message sent to journalists, called on government to intervene and prevail on the military to stop further destruction of the community and displacement of the indigenes.
Confirming the invasion, the paramount ruler of Bilabiri communities, HRM King Paul Seide, in an interview said he had to hide in the forest during the invasion.
His words: “We were all in my palace this morning when some of my subjects ran to informed me about the military presence and asked me to run but I told me that I could not leave my palace, but they pressurised me to run that they were over 16 military gunboats at the waterside.
“As soon as I left my palace they came and burnt down my palace to ashes and that of my younger brother. They did not arrest anybody or leave any message. I have returned to my community to meet my palace burnt to ashes.