Connect with us


Okuama Killings: Many Questions Begging For Answers



Okuama Community Crisis: Waive Calls For Peace, Law, Order

The killing of soldiers in Delta communities is highly condemnable. It is barbaric and ugly no matter the provocation. The feud between Okuama community of Ughelli South LGA and Okoloba community of Bomadi LGA in Delta isn’t worth killing of any soldier or civilian.

To avoid future bloody killings, Federal Government must well define the role of military in the Niger-Delta as army of occupation on the oil & gas assets. We were told the military were drafted to the Niger-Delta to safe guard the oil and gas facilities and its workers and contractors.

The military must be well guided so that they are not being influenced by some ‘power brokers’/influential people against their perceived enemies. The oil and gas companies can call soldiers in collaboration with their surveillance contractors to safeguard their facilities and men working in pipeline right of way and Gas Plant and flow stations and sundry facilities.

I don’t know what has brought in the military in the civilian communities that have no oil and gas assets. Okuama community has no oil and gas facilities. I know soldiers can go to any Pipeline Right of Way areas and any oil and gas facility because they were brought in to protect and safeguard them.

Apart from oil and gas sabotage/vandalism/oil theft the soldiers have no business going into any community unless invited by police and DSS if they are over whelmed. It is the duty of the police to go into communities and the police could invite the soldiers if they are overwhelmed but not on their own to go for any peace mission in local communities.

I read the first press statement written and widely shared in the social media and papers by Brigadier-General Tukur Gusau, Acting Director, Defence Information dated 16 March,2024. Gen Guau writes,” The troop of 181 Amphibious Battalion,Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State While on peace mission to Okuama community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State were surrounded by some youths and killed on Thursday,14 March 2024.

ALSO READ: Pastor Chris To Build Free School In Liberia

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

A lot of questions need to be answered as posted by UMPAG and signed by Mr Onojeghen Theophilus Okpare and Mr Shedrack Onitsha. “Was the executive Governor of Delta State, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, informed of the peace mission?

What was the true mission of the soldiers to Okuama and Okoloba communities? Was the Ovie (king) of Ewu Kingdom and her subjects informed of the military visit on a peace mission? Why did the situation report come from DPO Bomadi, and not DPO Otu-Jeremi?
Why was the military “PEACE”mission escorted by Ijaw youths?

How come, that civilian members of the “PEACE” mission survived to tell the story, yet no military man survived? Why was the military peace mission only for Okuama community? Are we not sure that warlords from neighbouring areas were responsible for the attack on soldiers?

Who were the civilians that took the military to Okuama as quoted in the report by Sunday Bomadi Chancel who had earlier claimed over 22 soldiers were killed? While were the Ijaw civilians who accompanied the soldiers to Okuama, how come they survived while soldiers were killed?”

I think the Delta state government and the military high command need to set up panel of inquiry to probe the immediate and remote causes of conflict that led to the killing of soldiers. There is also need for the Nigerian police to fish out those who are involved in the killing of these solders and prosecute them in the court of law accordingly.

Those who killed, those who aided and those who allegedly provided boats to the soldiers for the said failed peace mission to Okuama must be brought to book accordingly. All those who are connected to the conflict that led to the killing of the soldiers must be brought to book appropriately before the law courts of justice.

And those who allegedly masterminded the soldiers to embark on the said failed peace mission to Okuama community should all be arrested by the police and prosecuted in law court of justice no matter what connection they have or wealth they possess. Insecurity is a cause for alarm in the country.

There is hardly a day we don’t hear of one violent crime in the country. If it is not herdsmen killing, it will be bandits attack or unknown gunmen killings or kidnapping. It has come to a stage where no one is safe in Nigeria. The military, police, DSS, civilians are no longer safe. Should we pretend that all is well and it is not?

Nigerian roads are no longer safe to drive. The big cities/towns and villages are not safe. The military barracks are not safe. We hear of criminals going to Kuje prison that is heavily fortified by security operatives to free criminals. We hear of bandits invading NDA Kaduna to kidnap military officers. Recently hundreds of school children are being kidnapped by bandits/herdsmen in Northern Nigeria.

We shouldn’t pretend about the Insecurity in Nigeria. Few days ago there were unconfirmed reports of police officers killed by alleged herdsmen in Agadama and Ohoror Bushes in Uwherun in Ughelli North LGA of Delta state. Till this moment no official statement from police and government.

A country where alleged miscreants and hoodlums are being celebrated and rewarded by politicians and corporate oil & gas companies/NNPCL then what do you expect? The violent people are more recognised and rewarded. No country can develop when miscreants and hoodlums are celebrated as heroes. The government at all levels, politicians corporate oil & gas companies,NNPCL, and public know the problem but they all pretend about it.

A former Director-General of NIMASA from Okoloba community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State is being indicted for fueling the crises that led to the killing of soldiers as alleged . There is need to fish him out for questioning on his alleged role in the said failed peace mission that led to the killing of soldiers.

The police and the DSS in collaboration with the military should thoroughly investigate those behind the distress calls that made the soldiers to go on the said failed peace mission that led to the killing of soldiers. What actually happened? Who are really responsible for the killing of the soldiers?

Were there any reported killing of Okuama people before the killing of the soldiers? What led to bloody killings of soldiers and who are those that ambushed the soldiers? Who owns those boats used in the operations by the unknown gunmen that opened fire on the soldiers?

Who owns the boats used by the soldiers that went for the said peace mission that were killed? Could it be possible for Ukuama locals to have such sophisticated weapons used in killing the soldiers on two different occasions within the 24hrs as reported? Could this attack and killing of soldiers be a hidden agenda of the Okoloba community and leaders to set up Okuama community people of Ughelli South against the military and the government?

Could this attack and kiling of soldiers by suspected enemies aimed to wipe out Okuama community out of existence?
Nicholas Mutu’s press statement after the brutal killing shows he knows more and needs to be invited by security operatives to state what he knows about the attack that led to the kiling of the soldiers.

President Tinubu’s statement was too hasty. He would have heard from both sides before making statements. He didn’t commiserate with the families of those locals of Okuama community who lost their lives. There were alot of civilians casualties at Okuama community of Ughelli South LGA but was silent on it.

A leader must be seen to be a leader for both the weak and strong. A lot of innocent locals of Okuama community have lost their lives and homes in the village and displaced.

Zik Gbemre
March 19,2024

We Mobilize Others To Fight For Individual Causes As If Those Were Our Causes


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending News