Killers cut off soldiers’ heads, hearts, hands, bowels in Okuama – CDS

KiLLERS of 17 soldiers in Okuama, Delta State, cut off their heads, hearts, hands and bowels, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Christopher Musa, has revealed.

Musa gave the revelation while speaking on Arise TV’s “The Morning Show” on Wednesday, April 3.    

“They were able to cut the heads, cut the hands, disembowel them, remove the hearts. I don’t know what that was for. What was the intent? But whatever the intent is, we remain focused and committed,” the CDS said.

He accused some people in the community of collaborating with the killers, adding that the military was conducting cordon and search operations to search for weapons and arrest the culprits.

Musa said he was happy with the traditional ruler of the Ewu-Urhobo kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state, Clement Ikolo, who was among the eight people declared wanted by the military over the killing but submitted himself to the police.

He appealed to others on the wanted list to do the same. 

The CDS said the military’s operation in the community was regulated and temporary.

He promised that the community residents who fled out of fear of reprisal or arrest would be allowed to return to their homes soon.

The ICIR reported that four officers and 13 soldiers were murdered in Okuama on March 14.


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Musa said the community and its surroundings would have been levelled if the military were to follow past tradition.

“Ideally, before now, we lived in a situation where we would have flattened all the communities in the area, but it was majorly because we felt not everybody was involved.  

“The cordon and search operation is just temporary, which should soon be over, and once it is over, everybody will be able to return. 

“I’m sure if we don’t do it thoroughly and there’s an accident or an incident, and somebody is shot, it’s going to be the same issue that Armed Forces again are killing somebody. So we didn’t want anybody to be there; we wanted to make sure that good people were secured. We are only after the bad guys.” Musa disclosed.

Reacting to the allegation that the military was burning houses and killing innocent people in the community, Musa said, “We are not animals, we’re not barbaric, that we would just go around killing people. If they had not touched our Armed Forces, nobody would have been there.”

He also clarified that the slain soldiers were legally deployed to the community with the mandate of the military and authorised to make arrests and interrogate persons found wanting because they belonged to a Joint Interrogation Centre that works together as a team under the Joint Task Force.

 He also promised to guarantee the residents’ rights and not impinge on anybody’s rights.

On March 27, The ICIR reported that President Bola Tinubu awarded scholarships and houses to the slain soldier’s children and families.

Tinubu vowed that his government would not back down in its determination to find their killers.

Speaking at the burial, held at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Taoreed Lagbaja, reiterated the Army’s commitment to bringing perpetrators of the killings to book and recover all missing weapons.




     

     

    He said three of the widows of the deceased were pregnant. He assured the fallen soldiers’ families of maximum support from the Nigerian Army.

    The military on Thursday, March 28, declared eight persons wanted in connection with the killings.

    During a press conference in Abuja, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba urged Nigerians, particularly those living in Delta and neighbouring states, to provide the military with reliable information that would lead to their arrest.

    The wanted persons are:

    •  Akevwru Daniel Omotegbono (Aka, Amagbem)
    • Ekpekpo Arthur (A professor)
    • Andaowei Denis Bakriri
    • Igoli Ebi
    • Akata Malawa David 
    • Sinclear Okili
    • Clement Ikolo Oghenerukvwe
    • Reuben Baru

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