- Ibaa women accuse military men of sexual assaults, intimidations, harassments, inhumane treatment
- Allegations of military men impregnating girls and denying the pregnancy
- Accusations of soldiers desicrating cultures of the land, violating a pregnant women
- The women demand soldiers be redeployed from their communities
PORT HARCOURT – Angry women from Ibaa Town in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State on Saturday protested against the military personnel deployed in their community, citing unprofessional conduct.
The aggrieved women, who matched to Rumuji Police Division with placards and plucked tree branches to express their displeasure, accused the military operatives in their community of molesting women and burgling houses in the guise of conducting their operations.
The women numbering over 100 were seen matching peacefully, singing and demonstrating in their cultural way of displeasure. It was learnt that the military men were deployed to help curtail oil theft and illegal bunkering in the community which they alleged have became incessant.
However, the women said they lost their cool and decided to embark on the protest after some soldiers allegedly beat up a pregnant woman and ordered her to sit on the floor after she approached the soldiers to inquire of her son that was arrested by them; an act the women said was against their culture. They questioned the rationale behind the babarity of the military men which they termed ‘Awkward’
The women equally accused the military men of sexual assault, intimidation, harassment, inhumane treatment and even impregnating and denying most of them. They maintained that their fundamental Human Rights have been denied them and requested that the Soldiers be redeployed with immediate effects.
One of the protesting women said, “The army in our community are coming to molest our women when they go there (army base) to look for their children, they beat up mothers up to the extent of beating up a pregnant woman and make her sit on the ground and our culture is against married women to sit on the ground.
“The Army should pack and go out of Ibaa because they are not doing the work they sent the Army to come and look after the community, but the Army is not doing the right thing. The Army is now breaking houses and packing property, raping and impregnating our women; we don’t need that; let them go; the women are angry.”
Responding to the allegations against the military, the acting Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Major Jonah Danjuma, said the accusations against the troops were fictitious.
He maintained that the soldiers in the community were professionals and were carrying out their duties in tandem with global best practices.
“One thing I want to assure you is the fact that the allegations against our troops is unfounded and unsubstantiated, I like to assure the good people of Rivers State that our troops are professionals who conduct operations in the best professional manner in compliance with the rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights, in line with the best global practices.
“I also want to reassure you that our troops will not be involved in such acts.
As at presstime, no independent body has officially confirmed the stance of Major Danjuma
IMAGE SOURCE – Rivers Today