An NGO, Ijaw Women Connect, and some Civil Society Groups on Tuesday expressed determination to investigate the alleged looting and vandalism of Bayelsa Vocational Training Centre.
Rosemary Naingba, the President of IWC, told newsmen in Yenagoa that items worth billions of Naira were removed from the centre.
The incident occurred between February 14 and 16 at the centre in Boro town in Kaima, Kolokuma/Opokuma council area.
The centre, built and equipped by the Presidential Amnesty Programme, was designed to train unskilled repentant militants and provide them with a wide range of training.
Naingba said: “The roof of the building was removed along with the bedding and all plumbing materials in the 60-bed facility.
“The entrepreneurship starter packs, welding machines, refrigerators, tailoring and fashion designing facilities as well as generators ware among the items carted away in a broad day.
“Other items vandalised and looted are the state-of-art training equipment for plumbing, catering, fashion designing, building and interlocking stones making, shoe and leather work, carpentry and joinery, among others.”
The IWC president said thorough investigation was necessary in order to bring all guilty to book.
Naingba, who described the act as “rude shock”, said the IWC intended to collaborate with other well meaning Ijaw organisations for the investigation.
She said: “The leadership of IWC worldwide, Ijaw Youth Council, who visited the centre was disappointed over the extent of looting and damage done. We condemn the act in totality.
“However, rather than apportioning blames, we intend to collaborate with other well meaning Ijaw organisations and Civil Society Groups to investigate before holding further discussions.
“We cannot continue to cry only fowl, while the main perpetrators walk the streets freely.
“We call on all residents to be calm and sheath their swords, because this is a time to build and not to destroy. We must continue to be strengthened to one another for the development of the Niget-Delta region.
“We, therefore commend the Federal Government, especially Prof. Charles Dokubo, Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty, for the efforts to regulate the Amnesty Office and correct a lot of abnormalities inherited from his predecessor.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, DSP Asinim Butswat, had confirmed the arrest of nine persons in connection with the looting in the training centre.
Butswat said the police were investigating the incident.