Delta Community on Fire over Killing of Soldiers

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Some military personnel have been killed by irate youths from one of the two warring communities, in Bomadi local government area, Delta State. Inside source told this publication that the military personnel were invited by a former Director General of one of the federal government agencies to maintain peace in the riverine community

Though the Defence Headquarters on Saturday, March 16, 2024 stated that a Commanding Officer, two Majors, one Captain, and 12 soldiers met their deaths while responding to a distress call from the highly placed citizen from Delta State during a clash between Okuama in Ughelli South Local Government and Okoloba community in Bomadi local government area, Delta State on Thursday. A source who claimed annoymity said some of those involved were civilians working with a security outfit that accompanied the military personnel to the warring communities. The source further noted that the intention of the person who invited the military personnel to the village was to instigate the Nigerian military against Okuama and other Urhobo communities in the riverine areas.

The Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, while confirming the killing of the military personnel deployed for the peacekeeping mission to two warring communities in Ughelli South and Bomadi LGA of Delta State, said that the Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa, has ordered the immediate arrest and investigation of all those involved. He said, “The troops of 181 Amphibious Batallion, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, while on a peace mission to Okuoma in Delta State were surrounded by some community youths and killed on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

“The unfortunate incident occurred when the troops responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuama in Ughelli South Local Government and Okoloba community, Bomadi local government area both in Delta State.

“The reinforcement team led by the commanding officer was attacked, leading to the deaths of the commanding officer, two majors, one captain and 12 soldiers”. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has directed the immediate investigation and arrest of those involved in the heinous crime. Accordingly, the occurrence has been reported to the Delta State Government. General Christopher Gwabin Musa noted further that

“ the military remains focused and committed to its mandate of maintaining peace and security in the country”. He equally stated that “few arrests have been made while steps are being taken to unravel the motive behind the attack”.

Meanwhile, the vice president general of the Okuama community, David Akata, has accused the Nigeria Army of invasion of the community saying that the “unknown gunmen” who turned out to be Nigeria Army, shot sporadically at anyone in sight leaving three indigenes dead and several others injured.

He disclosed that his community recorded three casualties with many others injured and houses set ablaze as the armed men in military uniforms wreak havoc allegedly in Okuama community from a speedboat. According to Akata, “The armed men suspected to be Nigeria Army on Friday, March 14, 2024, carried out a genocide on the citizens of the community by setting their buildings and properties ablaze with chanting of war songs.

“We woke up to see our community surrounded with men in military uniform numbering in their tens and without no reason they started shooting at sight leading to the death of three promising youths of the community and several others injured from gun bullets. The same military men repeated their genocide actions on the innocent and law-abiding citizens of the Okuama community on Friday, March 15, 2024, leaving many buildings to their rumbles as they carried offensive arson on the community buildings.

“As I speak, the number of persons who died in the barbaric attack could not be ascertained as many of the aged men, women, and youths fled and we suspect that some women and children might have drowned in the river because many ran into the river out of panic. This is disheartening that the Delta State government and security operatives in the state have not been able to quell the crisis between the two communities. We entered a peace accord with the state government and security operative in the state.

“We stand by the accord but often times the Okoloba people harassed our people by assaulting them, and our pleas on the state government to expedite action and called the Okolobians to order fell on deaf ears allowing the Okoloba community people to use their mercenaries military uniforms and bandits to kill our people”.

Responding to the development, the leadership of Urhobo Progress Union youth wing worldwide,

Activist Blessed Ughere, UPU Youth Wing President, World Wide called on the Federal Government, Delta State Government, and all relevant authorities to immediately intervene in the ongoing senseless and baseless butchery, carnage, massacre, slaughter and ensure cessation of all forms of hostilities to enable displaced innocent mothers and children to return to their homes.

How the military authority will respond to the situation remains to be seen. For now, fear and confusion pervade the entire village and its’ environs


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