Women of Ibaa community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State have protested against the actions of some Amy Personnel deployed to the community to protect some critical National assets.
The aggrieved women on Saturday, matched to Rumuji Police Station carrying placards bearing different inscriptions and demanded the removal of the soldiers deployed to the community.
They also accused the Army of abandoning their primary duty and beating up and harassing nursing and pregnant women and innocent youths of the community.
Some of the women who spoke to newsmen said most recently, there was an incident where the soldiers beat up a pregnant woman and ordered her to sit on the floor which is against the tradition of the land after they meant the absence of her husband who was the target, while in another claim, the soldiers beat up a woman and her two children and later detained them for days for refusing to carry locally refined illegal product which they seized from somewhere to their office.
The women told the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Rumuji Station that they are comfortable with the security provided by the police in collaboration with local vigilantes in Ibaa, insisting that the soldiers, whom they accused of working with some individuals with questionable character in the community should be removed to save them and their children.
One of the protesters, Ruth Adele said: “The Army in the community are coming to molest our people by arresting the women when they go to their houses to look for their children.
“If they do not see their target they beat up their mothers and go to the extent of beating up the pregnant women. One as I am talking now is in labour and our culture is against married women sitting on the ground. We want the Army to pack out of our land because they are not doing their work.
“They sent Army to come and protect the community but Army is not doing there the right thing, they are breaking into people’s houses and packing their property, raping our women, and beating our pregnant women.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army, 6 Division Port Harcourt has denied any involvement in such allegations, saying they are unsubstantiated while emphasising that the troops are professionals that strictly follow rules of engagement.
Reacting, the Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations of 6 Division Headquarters, Major Jonah Danjuma said: “One thing I want to assure you is the fact that the allegations against our troop are unfounded and unsubstantiated. I want to assure the good people of Rivers State that our troops are professionals who conduct operations in the best professional manner with adherence to the rules of engagement, and respect for the fundamental human rights, in line with the best global practices.
“I want to reassure you that our troops will not be involved in such an act.”
SOURCE: The Guardian