OKUAMA/OKOLOBA CRISIS: Gbagi Frowns at Killing of Security Personnels, Others, Sues for Thorough Investigation…details

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PRESS STATEMENT

 

Governorship candidate on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the March 18th 2023, election in Delta State, Olorogun Barr. Kenneth Gbagi FNIM OON, has condemned in the highest term, the heinous killings of 16 military personnel and other civilians in Okuama community in Ughelli south local government area of the State.

 

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He warned that such massacre and burning of houses could be a trigger to inter-religious conflicts and ethnic war if not discreetly handled.

 

The security expert, called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, carry out a holistic investigation into the act, with a view to unravelling those behind it and bringing them quickly to face the full wrath of law to serve as a deterrent to others while calling for professionalism on the part of the soldiers in handling matters of such.

 

In a statement on Sunday March 17th 2024, by his Chief Press Secretary, Kenneth Orusi, the former Minister of Education (State), who described the callous attack on innocent soldiers and other lives as shocking and reprehensible, said the act was alien to the State.

 

The renowned criminologist cum senior lawyer, said: “whilst I bring my condolence to the Chief of Defence Staff with the ungodly news with the killing of 16 soldiers by members of our society and State.

 

“My position is that I condemn in the highest term the killing of anybody not to talk of innocent soldiers that are sacrificing their lives to protect and ensure peaceful coexistence in agitating communities.

 

“Never has it happened since the Civil War for officers and soldiers in this large number killed anywhere in the country.

 

“The act itself been one that is barbaric, my position is clear. We support the Nigerian army to unearth the perpetrators and bring them to book.

 

“The killing of any human being is a crime before humanity and God. So, we totally condemn this and support a full scale investigation to bring to book this act.

 

“The identity of those behind this killing must be brought to book and ruthlessly dealt with while condoling their families.

 

“Pointing accusing fingers on any member of a community with such a heinous crime needs thorough and careful searching. To kill 16 officers is not a joke and such barbaric act happening in Ughelli south to say the least is condemnable as we are not known for violence, it is not part of us as a people”.

 

He highly solicited for the support of their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the souls of the gallant great men.

 

He however put the federal and State governments to task to find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis that has left many dead.

 

Meanwhile, the renowned philanthropist, has called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with their state counterpart and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to immediately send relief materials to affected victims and settle medical bills of those hospitalized.

 

It would be recall that indigenes and other residents of Okuama community in Ughelli south local government area of the State are currently living in fear as Okoloba community in Bomadi local government area, has been on a steady attack without government and police intervention as no fewer than eight persons were abducted.

 

The incidents persists unabated including molestation and constant threat to their lives with gunboats and sporadic shooting into Okuama community on daily basis, resulting in the abduction and subsequent killing of four Indigenes of Okuama namely: Igho Meshach, Okiemute David, Power Awusa and the driver of the speedboat whose identity is yet unknown.

 

It would be recall that a press statement signed by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau on Saturday March 16th 2024, said: “the troops of 181 Amphibious Batallion, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State While on peace mission to OkUAMA community were surrounded by some community youths and killed on Thursday, 14 March, 2024. 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”.

 

 

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