Delta bloodbath: Gov meets Tinubu, N’Assembly demand thorough probe

Written by on March 20, 2024

The Senate, on Tuesday, mandated its committees on Army, Navy and Air Force to liaise with the military for a thorough investigation of the gruesome killings of 17 officers and men of the Nigerian Army in Okuoma Community, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

The four military officers and 13 soldiers were said to have gone to the Okuoma community on a peacekeeping mission when they were slain by hoodlums last week Thursday.

In honouring the memories of the deceased military men of the 181 Amphibious Batallion, the Senate held a minute silence for them but rejected a motion to do the same for civilian casualties.

This was just as the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who is from Akwa Ibom State, opined that the killers of the military men might be mercenaries from outside the Niger Delta.

According to him, such killing was not in the character of the Niger Delta people.

“See, I don’t want you to conclude, I do not believe that these people are from Niger Delta, those who did the killings, because we respect men and women in uniform,  that is why I am saying that your additional prayer should be to carry out a thorough investigation to know whether these people are mercenaries from outside the Niger Delta who came to commit this crime because I don’t think these people are Niger Deltans,” Akpabio said.

The Senate President said it was unimaginable that 17 soldiers would be killed in such a situation when the country was not in a war.

We are not at war to lose such a number of personnel.  No community will go to the extent of doing this kind of thing. I don’t think they are from Niger Delta.

“So, I think the first point is that we should first establish the culprits who committed this crime; we must take this seriously.  Supposing they are not from Niger Delta, supposing they are not even Nigerians and we now come and be giving relief materials to them. People should bear the consequences of their characters, we will not support relief materials,” he added.

The Senate, in its resolutions taken on the incident, urged the Federal Government to apprehend the killers and bring them to justice.

The Red Chamber also urged the Federal Government to hasten the recruitment and training of more policemen to relieve the Army from internal security matters.

The Senate’s resolutions followed separate motions sponsored by Senators Abdulaziz Yar’Adua ( APC Katsina Central) and Ede Dafinone (APC Delta Central), on the killing of four officers and 13 soldiers by ethnic militias in Okuoma village, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Senator Yar’Adua, in his motion, described the act “as despicable, barbaric and unacceptable.”

Yar’Adua said, “The officers, comprising of a Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, and a Captain along with 12 soldiers, were not only killed by the local militias but had their bodies mutilated.

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