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DTSG To Submit Position Paper On Okuama Killings – Oborevwori



DTSG To Submit Position Paper On Okuama Killings - Oborevwori

…Assures AVM Ajayi-led DHQ Board Of Government’s Support

By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe

The board of enquiry set up by Defence Headquarters to enquire into the remote and immediate causes of Okuama/Okolona communities crisis, leading to the gruesome murder of seventeen soldiers has been told that the Delta State Government will submit a position paper to it.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, made the disclosure on Friday at the Government House Annex Warri, when he received on courtesy visit the Board of Enquiry Chairman, Air Vice Marshal David Ajayi, and his team, saying that the unfortunate incident was not foreseeable, but highly regrettable and very painful.

He said Delta State has been peaceful since he assumed office nearly ten months ago, and that the two communities involved in the dispute were present at an enlarged peace meeting attended by senior government officials, community leaders and major stakeholders, wherein the matter was resolved and parties willingly signed peace accord in February, this year.

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The governor posited that he led a powerful delegation consisting of the state security council members and senior government officials to the funeral service of the gallant and patriotic soldiers in Abuja, to honour them and to pay their last respect, assuring AVM Ajayi and members of the DHQ Board of Enquiry, of his unwavering support to enable them discharge the board’s assigned responsibilities, so as to unravel the cause of the incident.

Governor Oborevwori further disclosed that the state government shall submit a position paper to the military board of enquiry constituted by DHQ, pointing out that the paper will further throw more light on the efforts made so far by the State government, which led to the signing of peace accord, amongst others.

He urged members of the board to be transparent, and to do their job within a reasonable time, so as to restore peace and normal commercial activities to Okuama community.

“I am very happy for this meeting taking place here today in Warri. Most people who spoke about the issue did so out of ignorance because they lacked the true knowledge of the facts of what happened. Setting up this Board of Enquiry is a good one.

“In my MORE Agenda, we said we are going to ensure peace and security, and for the first time in a long while, we celebrated Christmas without any hitches and I must thank security agencies in the state for a job well done.

“In Delta State, there are two bodies we don’t play with; the Advisory and Peace Building Council and the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution- because they are doing a lot to ensure enduring peace in the state.

“I told the Secretary to State Government to invite the Okuama/Okoloba people. So, l made it mandatory that the Chairmen of Ughelli South and Bomadi Local Government Councils to be in attendance, the members of the State House of Assembly who are representing the constituencies should also be in attendance and the Presidents- General of the communities should be in attendance.

“That meeting was held on the 7th of February and they signed a peace accord. So, we were not expecting anything negative when the military went there for a peace mission.

“In Delta State, we don’t encourage crisis. So, we want to assure you that which ever information you people want, we will give it to you and we will also come with our position paper to submit to you people before you leave.

“That will also guide you on the role that we have played as a state because if we don’t come with this position paper, you will not know the role that the state has played”, the Governor said.

Earlier, Chairman of the Board of Enquiry, Air Vice Marshal David Ajayi, said the Board was in the state to investigate the unfortunate incident that happened at Okuama.

Ajayi said: “We are here as a fact- finding mission and not to apportion blame. We are here to gather facts from security agencies, community leaders and community dwellers.

“This report will also help to ensure healthy communication that will enhance civil-military relations and ensure that economic activities thrive again in the affected communities.”

He called on the Governor to assist the Board in its enquiry to ensure that relevant stakeholders were invited to the give account of what led to the crisis.


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