Hundreds of Ogoni people took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the invasion of Gokana and Khana Local Government Areas by the military.
The protesters, who carried white caskets, expressed their sadness over the invasion of Yeghe community in Gokana by soldiers, maintained that the action of the military was politically motivated.
They added that some indigenes of the area lost their lives during the raid that lasted for two days.
Eighteen persons were said to have died during the invasion. The home of a former militant leader in Yeghe community, Solomon Ndigbara, was razed while the campaign office of a senatorial candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, was also torched.
One of the leaders in Ogoniland and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Lee Maeba, decried the invasion, adding that the action of the military was unnecessary.
Maeba recalled that many lives were lost during the raid and called on the Federal Government to order the withdrawal of soldiers illegally operating in Ogoniland.
He said, “My appeal to the Federal Government from this day is for the withdrawal of soldiers operating illegally in Ogoniland. All military personnel should go.”
Also, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, who is from Gokana Local Government Area, explained that the invasion of the area by the military was undemocratic.
Kobani expressed shock that some members of the All Progressives Congress were in support of the invasion of Ogoni communities by the military.