Okuama: I can’t believe a community of few hundreds could carry out such action against 15 military officers – Reps member says

The member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, has condemned in strong terms the killing of 16 soldiers around Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State by unknown gunmen....READ FULL ARTICLE

Waive, who is the Chairman House Committee on Rules and Business in the House of Representatives, described the attack on the soldiers as not only barbaric, but vicious and unacceptable to the people of the constituency.

A total of 16 soldiers, including the commanding officer of 181 Amphibious Battalion, Bomadi, two army majors, an Army Captain and 12 others were murdered in unclear circumstance around the bank of Okuama community, on Thursday.

But the federal lawmaker in a statement on Monday called for the arrest and prosecution of those behind the heinous crime.

Waive, while calling for a thorough and unbiased probe of the incident, noted that it is difficult to believe that a community with few inhabitants could inflict such level of damage on armed military personnel.

He said he was suspicious of the activity of “fifth columnists” in the attack on the military personnel, adding that only an “unbiased and professional investigation will unveil” the truth behind the gruesome murder.

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The lawmaker also condoled with Okuama community and Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom over the killing of their indigenes during the incident.

“I received with utter shock news of the killings in Okuama Community of Ewu Clan in Ughelli South LGA (a part of my constituency). I must begin by calling on all parties in the dispute to ceasefire and allow peace to reign.

“I condemn in its entirety the taking of human life and console with families and institutions affected. We simply cannot return to the Old Stone Age.

I am particularly appalled by the reported killing of officers and men of our armed forces and demand that a full-scale unbiased investigation be carried out to ascertain the real culprits.

“There is no need to accuse and counter accuse one another or violently label anyone until reliable investigation with proof, fish out the killers to face justice. In this nation, we hold our armed forces in the highest esteem.

It is not an acceptable norm to willfully attack and kill our good officers and men on patriotic duty to protect and defend our territorial integrity and collective peace and security.

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“During the years these clearly avoidable attacks have lingered, Okuama Community has always been the theater of the fighting, suggesting that they are the ones being attacked. Had these attacks been nipped in the bud as they ought to be, we wouldn’t come to this edge of the precipice.

“As sad and painful as it it, this is however a moment to reflect as true patriots and our brothers’ keepers to put a stop to these bloody attacks that have become incessant.

“I am at a loss how a community of only a few hundred inhabitants can inflict this level of damage on our military. I worry if there are no fifth columnists and other vested interests at play. But I believe a thorough, unbiased and professional investigation will unveil this mystery.

“Reports have it that the bodies of our fallen officers and men of the military were found in the community and on the Forcados River. There is a need to unveil the place of their killing and the actual killers. Whoever did this must be found and punished according to law.

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“The burning down of Okwama Community is not a solution to the problems at hand. I call on the military to exercise maximum restraint in their response and abide by internationally accepted protocols in the face of this provocation.

“I call on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately set up modalities to assist those displaced at this difficult time.

“We must all realize that land belongs to God. We met it here and will definitely leave it when we exit this world. So too is human life. Nobody has the right to take the life of another.

“I call on our beloved people of Okuama Community to calm down and ensure they allow peace to reign. I also call on our dear people who are their neighbours to do the same.

“The military authorities, the State Government and the Communities should cooperate in the investigations and find lasting solutions to this crisis according to law and the tenets of good conscience”, the statement read...READ FULL ARTICLE

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