By Emma Amaize, Perez Brisibe & Chancel Sunday
BOMADI— MILITANT leader, Kareowei, suspected to have killed about four soldiers recently, fled Ndoro community in Bayelsa State allegedly to Delta State, following the manhunt for him by security operatives of Operation Delta Safe.
Vanguard learned that there was pandemonium in Bomadi, Ojobo and other communities in Delta State as soldiers cordoned off the waterways in search of the militant leader.
Hundreds of locals fled Ojobo for fear of attack by soldiers who stormed the community in 10 gunboats.
Efforts to reach the Amnanaowie (head) of the community, Chief Thompson Brisibe, were fruitless, but a resident, Kekeredi Aboy, told one of our reporters that soldiers arrested the girlfriend of the wanted militant leader.
“They shot sporadically into the air when they came but left about 3p.m., leaving behind some gunboats.”
A security operative told Vanguard, “The manhunt is a fallout of reports of alleged activities of some suspected militants who had some celebrations in the community on New Year day over the killing of security agents.”
Soldiers also beefed up security in Bomadi, Delta State, yesterday morning, following alleged intelligence report that the dreaded militant leader was taking refuge within the area.
Another source said that Kareowei sustained serious gunshot injuries on one of his legs in the course of a shootout with the military and had been on the run from one hideout to another for treatment.
There was also report that one of those treating him was arrested two days ago.
Meanwhile, all shops and business premises at Bomadi-Overside, the business hub and base of the 222 Battalion in the council, as well as the busy Bomadi Bridge-head market, were closed, yesterday, over the military operation.
Mr Ebi, a trader at Bomadi-Overside, said that he was forced to lock up his business when he saw increased presence of uniformed men on the streets and major roads as early as 7 a.m.
Also, vehicular and pedestrian movement were restricted and vehicles coming from both Ughelli and Yenagoa axes were made to stop before the JTF checkpoint at Bomadi-Overside.
However, panic-stricken residents were also forced to stay indoors for fear of brutalization by the angry soldiers mounting blockades on the road.