The people of Bille Kingdom in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State have called on security operatives and the Federal Government to assume full responsibilities over the destructions of illegal bunkering sites in the area.
Some leaders of Bille Kingdom made the call while protesting against attacks on members of the community by the displaced pipeline vandals.
Speaking to newsmen at the weekend, a prominent leader in Bille Kingdom, Ibitamuno Minapakama,said Bille community has no hand in the destruction of the illegal bunkering sites, pointing out that the operation was carried out by security operatives.
He regretted the incessant attacks and brutalization of members of the community by unidentified gunmen, suspected to be vandals whose illegal oil refining activities have been disrupted.
“It is regrettable that our people have come under attacks on the assumption that we are involved in the destruction of illegal bunkering sites last Tuesday, two indigenes of Bille were attacked and hospitalised, we have become endangered, species, I want to use this opportunity to call of the security operatives and Federal Government to own up their actions and save our people from incessant harassment.
In his view, the paramount ruler of Ubunabeke community in Bille Kingdom, Chief Benneth Okpokiri also urged security operatives to be civil in the discharge of their duties, by ensuring that innocent citizens are saved from unwarranted attacks.
He said the community leaders have written several letters to relevant authorities to wade into the matter to protect the people, but nothing has been done. “I want to state categorically, that the people of Bille have no hand in the destruction of the bunkering sites. It is the responsibility of security operatives who are out to clampdown on the vandals. I want to appeal to the government to give protection to the innocent citizens of Bille Kingdom who have become the objects of reprisal attacks, our people can no longer move freely in their communities for fear of being attacked.
Another indigene of Bille community who pleaded anonymity also raised alarm over attacks on the people. He called on government to wade into the matter before it degenerates into anarchy.