A group known as the Edo Youth Council has demanded an investigation into the invasion of Obayantor 1 Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria, by officers of the Nigerian Army.
According to an unnamed eyewitness, a former Chairman of the Proscribed Community Development Association (CDA) led the soldiers into the community.
The former Youth Leader Osatohamwen Oduwa and his vice ‘Unity Ogunrobo came back to take over the said community at about 3am on Friday night been the 12 day of march 2022 with convoy of Nigeria Army and tugs well armed to take over the community from the current youth leader.
They immediately opened fire on the youths they met at the community that night and killed over 6 boys instantly and one Army officer was said to have been killed also in the gun battle.
Sequel to the lost of the Army officer, the armies and the tugs started breaking every doors and killing anyone they see including old men were killed in this operation.
The incident, which took place on Saturday, March 12, 2022, left about 10 persons dead and several missing. According to the eyewitness, the soldiers stormed the community and shot sporadically at unarmed persons who were going about their daily activities.
Acting spokesperson of the Edo Youth Council, Barrister Ebikhimwin Izagodo, In a statement described the Army as ‘Hausa speaking occupational forces’, and demanded an inquiry into the ‘evil massacre’.
“You can’t just come into our community in Edoland to massacre Edo people with Hausa speaking occupational forces from God knows where.
“We demand an investigation into this evil massacre that took place at Obayantor 1 community in Ikpoba Okha LGA, Edoland where several Edo law abiding citizens were murdered in cold blood and the soldiers involved arrested and prosecuted immediately.
“We would also like to know who invited you into Obayantor 1 community and gave you the order to shoot at Edo indigenous people.
“We will no longer allow you to do what you like in Edo land as you do not have the legal right to walk into our community and massacre our people because you have access to the State armory. Do not push us to the wall,” Barrister Ebikhimwin Izagodo said.
Reacting to the incident, the Public relations officer, 4 brigade Nigerian Army Captain Yemi Sokoya, said the Army and DSS stormed the community on discreet investigation after receiving Intelligence from the DSS that some hoodlums were stockpiling arms in the community.
“We went there with the DSS, who actually gave us the information. Before we got there, they opened fire on the troops and to the glory of God we were able to clear the community and recover arms and ammunition,” said captain Yemi Sokoya.
It is however hopefully that government will intervene into the crisis and restore normalcy to the community.