LATEST Updates On Delta State Crisis

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Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has condemned in strong terms the killing of officers and soldiers attached to 63 Brigade at Okuama community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state. He also condoled with the military and the families of officers and soldiers who died in the attack.

Governor Oborevwori, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Festus Ahon, said the act as alien to the culture of Deltans.

He said: “The government of Delta State is gravely disturbed by the violence and unprovoked killing of the officers and soldiers, which he described as alien to the culture of Deltans.

“This incident is despicable and not in sync with the culture and tradition of Deltans. It runs contrary to the values and path of peace that the State Government is promoting as I have always emphasized in our agenda to enhance peace and security.

“On behalf of the Government and good people of Delta State, I wish to condole, in particular, the families of the killed gallant officers and soldiers, the Nigerian Army and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in general, over this sad occurrence.

“The State Government shall take all measures necessary to fish out all those behind this dastardly act and ensure they are made to face the full wrath of the law.

“Delta State is governed within the tenets of the rule of law and human decency. Acts such as this incident cannot and will not be tolerated.

“Meanwhile, all citizens and residents of the state are enjoined to remain law- abiding and the State Government shall continue to take all measures to protect lives and property in Delta State.”

‘Why will Nigerian Army act like terrorist group?’ – Adeyanju queries burning of Delta community

Rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, has condemned the burning of houses in Okuama community, Delta State, where 16 soldiers were killed.

Adeyanju while reacting to a report on the razing down of the community by suspected soldiers, said the action was uncalled for.

“The Nigerian Army can never change which is why they are predictable & can never defeat terrorism. Why will the army act like a terrorist group by taking the law into its own hands? It is the Govt who need to obey the rule of law more than anyone else because they can’t govern without it, ” he said in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

The Kogi-born activist had earlier condemned the brutal killing of the soldiers, urging the Nigerian government to bring the perpetrators to book.

Meanwhile, manhunt for the killers is still ongoing and some arrests have also been made by the soldiers led by the General Officer Commanding 6 division Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam.

Residents of the coastal community are said to have fled to neighboring Ughelli for fear of a reprisal by the soldiers who have been patrolling the creeks.

13 lifeless bodies of killed soldiers were in the early hours of Saturday recovered by soldiers of the joint task force under the supervision of the General Officer Commanding 6 division Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam, at Okuama community.

Some of the recovered corpses were said to have been beheaded, while the stomachs and hearts of others were ripped off.

At the NDDC jetty in the coastal Delta community, the bodies of the commanding officer and the two killed majors were seen floating by the river bank as others were separated on land.

It was gathered that the slain military personnel responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities, both in Delta State, before they were killed on Thursday, March 14.

Confirming the incident in a statement on Saturday, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, said the victims were surrounded by some community youths when troops of the 181 Amphibious Battalion were on a peace mission in the Bomadi Local Government Area of the state.

“The unfortunate incident occurred when the troops responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities both in Delta State,” the statement read.

“The reinforcement team led by the commanding officer was also attacked, leading to the deaths of the commanding officer, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers.”

The defence spokesman said the incident has been reported to the Delta State Government, adding that the CDS has also directed that the culprits be unmasked.

According to him, some suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

He also reiterated the commitment of the military to its mandate of maintaining peace and security in various parts of the country.

“The Chief of Defence Staff ( CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has directed the immediate investigation and arrest of those involved in the heinous crime. The occurrence has been reported to the Delta State Government.

“However, the military remains focused and committed to its mandate of maintaining peace and security in the country. So far, a few arrests have been made while steps in place to unravel the motive behind the attack.”

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