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Published On: Sat, Sep 28th, 2013

Delta: Kokori Miliatry Siege Continues as Soldiers Search for Kevin Gang’s Armoury

Nigerian soldiers moving into Kokoro's forest zone in search of Kevin Gang's armoury

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 28TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Soldiers of the 3 and 222 battalions of the Nigerian Army yesterday continued scheduled patrol of Kokori and environs in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State a frenetic effort to uproot the remaining members of the criminal gang led by notorious kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Ibruvwe.
It was gathered that the troops are after the armoury and arsenals left behind in the community by the fleeing gunmen.

No fewer than 10 military vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) were involved in Friday’s operation, which lasted for about five hours – from 10am to 3pm.
Reports that could not be independently confirmed indicated that three persons were arrested in the Friday’s operation. Continued from Page 2
It will be recalled that scores of armed youths from Kokori were feared killed when they clashed with troops on Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of Kelvin’s arrest in a hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A bloody clash ensued when troops deployed to secure the town, came under intense gunfire, especially around Market Road and Hon Sunday Odje Avenue junction of the town.
However, security sources at the 3 Battalion of the Nigerian Army told our reporter on Friday night that the military had taken control of the community.
Our source said there were concerns that the arms left behind by the fleeing hoodlums could be used to unleash further mayhem if they are not uncovered and confiscated.
“We have, to a large extent, rid the town of the trouble makers, but there is the need to mop up arms and ammunition in the area and to ensure that the pockets of resistant left do not regroup to cause mayhem in the community.
Our independent investigation revealed that there was still tension in the area in spite of the prevailing semblance of peace.
Business places, schools and churches in the community remained shut on Friday. The few remaining residents mainly stayed indoors and peeped at the happenings in their ravaged environment.
A team of Red Cross led by Ethiope East LGA Coordinator, Dr. Atakpo, was yet to access the trouble spot at the time of this report on Friday night. The team arrived Isiokolo in a Volkswagen ambulance with registration number BKW 251 AA
Dr Atakpo later told our reporter on telephone that the team decided to stay back after reaching Isiokolo, headquarters of the LGA because of concerns about their safety.
Meanwhile, some embattled indigenes of Kokori community have lamented the criminalisation of the community on the account of the activities of the notorious kidnapper.
A leader of the community, in a telephone interview with our reporter, lamented that media reports tend to portray the entire community as kidnappers aiding and abetting of criminals.
He said, “It is very sad that every Kokori indigene has been regarded as shielding the notorious gang of Kelvin. You are aware of what happened to those who rendered information.
“Even as big as Benin City is at the time of Anini, people were also afraid of mentioning his name or making information available. So people should not blame Kokori people or regard them as those shielding Kelvin. Nobody wants to die an untimely death,” our source, who asked not to be mentioned for security reasons, added.
Nevertheless, it was gathered that the lure of sharing in oil windfall promised by Kelvin informed the huge presence of local women, youth and children in the infamous rally of September 18.
It will be recalled that women of the Urhobo community in the widely circulated rally danced and sang along with masked armed-bearing youths, who paraded themselves as members of Liberation Movement of Urhobo People (LIMUP) on the fateful day.
“As for the rally, it is poverty and ignorance (that made the people come out en mass). It was announced to them that oil money was going to be shared on that day.
“Those who attended the rally were illiterate women and children (who believed the oil money story),” our source stated.
via The Nation

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