Soldiers, suspected to be operatives of the Joint Task Force, on Monday morning, invaded the home of the father of the wanted ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, carting away what sources said were vital documents.
The PUNCH gathered that the incident happened between 5am and 8am at Kurutie before the troops moved to other communities in search for the fleeing Tompolo and youths alleged to be members of the Niger Delta Avengers.
Kurutie, where Tompolo’s father lives, is also where the temporal site of the botched Federal Maritime University is located in the Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Community sources told our correspondent that the soldiers also stormed other Gbaramatu communities, including Benikrukru, Kokodiagbene and Okerenkoko.
The spokesman for Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, confirmed the development to our correspondent on the telephone when contacted.
He alleged that briefcases, containing money and vital documents, were carted away by the soldiers.
Gbenekama alleged that soldiers were being currently stationed in all Gbaramatu communities and were harassing residents.
The spokesman for the Ijaw Youths Council, Mr. Eric Omare, also confirmed the development.
A security source confirmed the deployment of military personnel in Tompolo father’s village, saying they were posted there following intelligence reports.
It added that what the troops were doing was “cordon and search operation” towards unmasking militants and vandals that could be hiding in the communities.
The chairman of Kokodiagbene community, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, while lamenting the situation said, “Their (soldiers) continuous visits are posing serious threats to the communities. We are living in bondage. Gbaramatu kingdom is host to oil and gas facilities and not to Avengers.
“It is annoying to observe that within every five to 10 kilometres radius, there are security gunboats, yet illegal bunkering and vandalism are going on unabated. Who are they fooling?”
Spokesperson for the Joint Task Force, Col. Isa Ado, did not return calls to his mobile on Monday on the security development in the Gbaramatu kingdom and its environs.