In a reply akin to telling the military to hold parents of Boko Haram operatives responsible for the mayhem they have committed in the North Est, some leaders and Ijaw ethnic nationality groups in Delta State, have faulted the statement by the Commander of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Major-General Alani Okunola, that community leaders would be held responsible for attacks on oil facilities by militants.
The community leaders told the JTF commander to not only hold his men, paid to protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta, liable but not to fish for trouble.
Their reaction is coming on the heels of the JTF barring Secretary to Delta State Government, SSG, Mr Festus Agas and Director-General, Security Matters in the state, Mr. David Tonwe, both representing Governor Okowa, from joining the entourage of the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Monsur Mohammed Dan-Ali (retd), to inspect crude oil and gas pipelines bombed, last week.
Prominent Ijaw leader, Chief Beck Hitler, appealed to the JTF not to attack Ijaw communities and innocent indigenes while searching for suspected militants who blew up pipelines in Warri South-West Local Government Area.
Hitler, in Warri, also condemned the acts and appealed to the militants to stop destroying oil facilities in the state, adding that whatever reason they may have for the act should be discouraged as blowing up or destroying oil pipelines could only worsen the hardship being faced by the people in riverine communities.
He noted that what the militants and leaders from the Niger Delta should be concerned about now was how to attract foreign investors to build factories in the region to create employment for the ex-militants, youths and graduates.