The Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Rivers State has condemned the invasion of communities in Gokana and Asari Toru Local Government Areas of the state by armed soldiers and policemen who left tales of destruction of lives and properties behind.
Addressing journalists at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the Civil Society groups represented by Barrister N.N. Naazigha -Lue, National Association of Democratic Lawyers, Barrister Eugene Odey, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Sunny Worza, Vulnerable Persons and Environmental Sustainability Initiative, and Barrister Higher King of Higher King Human Rights, said they watched with fear, disbelief and trepidation the executive lawlessness, total disregard for the rule of law and impunity exhibited by security agencies in the last few days in the state.
According to them, the recourse to self help by the Buhari administration is regrettable and not in the best interest of democracy.
They stated that: “The police/military attempted murder /invasion /destruction of the country homes of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Asari Toru LGA, Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich in Rivers State on the 6th January, 2016 and the equally phantom invasion of both homes of Chief Solomon Ndigbara at his country home in Bua Yeghe community in Gokana LGA on 10th January, 2016 and at his residence in Port Harcourt is the height of repression, only experienced under draconian military regimes.
“We therefore , call on the Buhari led Federal Government to exercise utmost restraint under a democratic dispensation and avoid every temptation to return Nigeria back to the dark days when villages, properties and human beings were treated as though existing in the slave era.”
They demanded the immediate stop to the recent violent harassment of perceived political opponents by security agencies, especially the attacks on former Niger Delta agitators.
The Rivers State Coalition of Civil Society Groups called on the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to come to Rivers State to do on the spot assessment of the extent of destruction and ensure proper compensation is paid by the Federal Government by victims of the military/police invasion of communities.
They wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to fully change despite the previous sad stories of military invasion in Ogoniland, Odi and Zaki Biam in the past