Okuama: Army denies reprisal attack as troops arrest suspects

THE Nigerian Army has denied a reprisal attack on the Okuama community in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State after nearly a score of soldiers were killed in the community.

The Army in a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, a Major General, lamented that rather than provide information that could lead to the arrest of the killers, the Okuama community was dishing out propaganda.


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According to the spokesperson, using propaganda demonstrated that killing soldiers was a “communally orchestrated attack against legitimate forces.”

The statement noted that the killing of troops of 181 Amphibious Battalion of the Nigerian Army while on a peaceful and mediatory mission, after a reported case of communal clash between Okuama and Okoloba communities in Ughelli South and Bomadi LGAs of Delta State respectively, was not only despicable but should be unreservedly condemned by all.

Onyema stated that the people responsible for the personnel’s deaths would be held accountable regardless of how much deception they chose to spread.

However, he assured law-abiding citizens that there would be no retaliatory attacks in the neighbourhood and advised them to carry out their lawful businesses without fear. 

Reports indicate that about 20 suspects involved in the killings have been arrested.

On Monday, March 18, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) released the names of the Army personnel who were killed on Thursday, March 14, during a peace mission to Okuama.

The officers among the 17 soldiers killed are:






     

     

    • A.H Ali, a Lietenant Colonel 
    • S.D Shafa, a major 
    • D.E Obi, a major
    • U Zakari, a captain

    The soldiers include:

    • Yahaya Saidu (#3NA/36/2974)
    • Yahaya Danbaba (1ONA/65/7274)
    • Kabiru Bashir (11NA/66/9853)
    • Bulus Haruna (16NA/TS/5844)
    • Sola Opeyemi (17NA/760719)
    • Bello Anas (17NA/76/290)
    • Hamman Peter (NA/T82653)
    • Ibrahim Abdullahi (18NA/77/1191) 
    • Alhaji Isah (17NA/76/6079) 
    • Clement Francis (19NA/78/0911)
    • Abubakar Ali (19NA/78/2162)
    • Ibrahim Adamu (19NA/78/6079) 
    • Adamu Ibrahim (21NA/80/4795)

    The ICIR reported On Sunday, March 17, that the Okuama community had been razed.

    Residents of the state, including former governor James Ibori, who confirmed this development, shared the video of the arson on Saturday, March 16. 

    No group has taken responsibility for the arson. 

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