Abuja - The Nigerian Army has defended its invasion of Ogoni in Rivers State, claiming that a security informant was allegedly buried alive by a cult leader in the area, Vanguard reports.
The statement comes as both the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, as well as the House of Representatives Committee on Army, begin investigations into the Army's invasion of Ogoniland.
According to the traditional ruler of the Mene Bua-Yeghe community in Ogoniland, Chief Barinaada Gbaranee, the invasion on February 23 escalated into the deaths of 12 people.
Gbanaree stated that the unlawful occupation of his territory, along with three other communities, began on February 22, adding that the Army invaded the house of former Niger Delta militant Solomon Ndigbara, and vandalized cars and buildings without just cause.
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In addition, Gbaranee also stated that officials had arrested Ndigbara's wife and siblings prior to their invasion.
All economic activities in Ogoniland are said to have been halted as a result of the attack, with many having deserted their homes, taking refuge in the bushes and forest due to a heavy presence of military personnel who remain in the region.
Speaking for the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), the South-South Zonal Chairman of the group, Chinedu Uchegbu, described the situation as "worrisome", given that the Army is meant to guarantee security within society and is instead being associated with plots to cause insecurity.
Gbaranee has since called on Senators to help stop tensions and loss of life in Ogoniland, saying that continued exposure has begun causing hunger, sickness and disease among the Ogoni people.
Read more at Vanguard