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Okuama: Don’t Shield Soldiers’ Killers, Delta Gov Warns Monarchs


Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State has cautioned the traditional rulers against protecting any of their subjects involved in the killing of 17 military personnel in Okuama community of Ughelli South Local Government Area.

The governor gave the warning while addressing the monarchs on the incident at the State Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat in Asaba, on Thursday.

Oborevwori who lamented the gruesome murder of the military personnel, warned that no kingdom should conceal the perpetrators.

He stated that he would not watch the state become a lawless domain, adding that Delta is being governed within tenets of the rule of law and human decency.

He said, “On the 7th of February, we summoned the people of Okoloba and Okuoma communities in Bomadi and Ughelli South Local Government Areas including the members representing the two constituencies in the State House of Assembly, the Council Chairmen and their Presidents-General where we advised them that a lot has been happening in their area and they signed a peace accord.

“The killing of these Army Officers and soldiers came as a rude shock to us and when this thing happened, I immediately called the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Army Staff because I was in Abuja. I came back and issued a press statement.

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“On Monday, I went to Bomadi to meet with all the security chiefs, where we had our security council meeting and I got briefings from the Brigade Commander. In attendance were the G.O.C 6 Division Nigeria Army, Maj Gen Jamil Abdussalam, and the JTF Commander, Real Admiral John Okeke.

“After the meeting, I went to Abuja to meet with Mr. President to brief him on what happened. I also went to see the Chief of Army Staff to discuss with him. I also meet with the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police.

“I felt that it is also proper that I brief you people even though you may be aware. Those people who committed that evil act must face the wrath of the law. No kingdom should shield those criminals because Delta State is governed by the tenets of the law and human decency.


“We cannot tolerate that. It has never happened in this state; to kill one Lt. Colonel, two Majors, one Captain and 13 Soldiers. We need to fish out those involved.

“Do not hide or shield anybody. The Chief of Army Staff and Mr. President have assured me that innocent people will not be victimised; unless you connive with the killers of the soldiers. I have briefed you and made sure that you fish them out from your kingdoms. If any traditional ruler shields a criminal, that traditional ruler is inviting trouble.

“We did not bargain for this evil act but for peace, I don’t want a crisis. I have also received information that two other villages are boiling to fight, they should not fight, we want peace in all our communities. What are they fighting for? I have promised you people that I am going to do more for Deltans, so what are they fighting for? All of us are Deltans and we want development.

“For the first time in almost two decades, we had peace in Warri in December, and people celebrated in peace. Now we have a communal crisis, why?”

As he condemned the heinous act, the governor appealed to the monarchs to fish out suspects in the domains so that the security agencies can do their job and bring them to book.

“I condemn it, and it’s unacceptable. So please, my dear royal fathers, let us be on the same page to fish out these people. Don’t allow anybody who committed this evil act to come to your kingdoms and bring problems to your community.

“Tell us, and we will hand them over to security agencies. You should not play politics with this. Don’t say that the Army has taken over your village because they cannot just come to your village without getting information. But I assure you people that no innocent person will be victimised.


“Tell your people not to encourage crisis because if you do, you cannot come out of it. Some people don’t have knowledge of what is happening and they start talking. What I did was to go and brief the Commander in Chief and later granted the State House Correspondents interview.”

Eminent Nigerians have condemned the dastardly act calling for the arrest and prosecution of the assailants, as well as an independent investigation into the matter.

The issue has generated controversies among top government officials including the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, saying the killers might be mercenaries, a statement that received a backlash from Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the National Leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, said the gruesome murder of the soldiers should be thoroughly investigated.

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