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Okuama: 17 Officers, Soldiers Killers May Be Mercenaries, Not N’Deltans – Akpabio



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The Senate, yesterday, mandated its committees on Army, Navy and Air Force to liaise with the military for thorough investigation on the gruesome killing of some officers and men of Nigerian Army in Okuama Community, Delta State on Thursday last week.

The Senate also observed a minute silence in honour of the memories of the four officers and 12 soldiers killed, but rejected a motion to also pay homage to civilian casualties in the unfortunate development.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed by the brutal killing of the military personnel, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, declared that perpetrators of the heinous crime wouldn’t have been people from the Niger Delta.

Also, the Senate in other resolutions taken on the carnage against the military personnel, urged the Federal Government to apprehend the killers and bring them to justice.

It also urged the Federal Government to hasten recruitment and training of more police personnel towards relieving the army from internal security matters.

The Senate passed the resolutions following separate motions sponsored by Senators Abdulaziz Yar’Adua (APC, Katsina Central) and Ede Dafinone (APC, Delta Central) on killing of four officers and 12 soldiers by ethnic militias in Okuama village, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Senator Yar’Adua in his motion described the act as despicable, barbaric and unacceptable. “The officers comprising a Lt-colonel, two majors, and a captain along with 12 soldiers, were not only killed by the local militias but had their bodies mutilated.

“This heinous act of violence perpetrated by the attackers on our troops is a direct assault on the security and stability of the Niger Delta region.

“The Senate should condemn in its entirety, the dastardly act and adopt prayers proposed as resolutions,” he said. In his presentation, Senator Dafinone said that since the motion centred on the same issue, he would only propose an additional prayer of a minute’s silence for innocent civilians killed.

His proposal was, however, rejected by the Senate president, who said that holding a minute’s silence for civilian casualties or victims of collateral damages, would come after thorough investigation had been carried out on what led to the tragic and very embarrassing incident.

“Senators Dafinone and Ned Nwoko prayer for a minute’s silence for innocent civilian casualties would be taken after the investigation of the dastardly act.

“What has happened is condemnable and stand condemned. The Senate will hold a minute’s silence for the 16 military personnel gruesomely murdered and condole with President Bola Tinubu, the military and family of the deceased for now.

“After investigation, civilians involved in the collateral damage, will be honoured by a minute’s silence or whatever action that may be necessary.

“Those involved in the dastardly act may not even be Niger Deltans, they may be mercenaries even from outside the country,” he said.

Apparently buttressing the Senate President’s position, Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West) said: “What happened in Okuama Community in Delta State last Thursday was very bad as regards the killing of the military personnel. An enquiry needs to be conducted by the Senate for us to have totality of facts on what happened before proceeding to moral equivalence in form of minute silence for innocent civilians.”