Why Inhabitants Of Okuama Can’t Access Their Homes Now – CDS

General Christopher Musa who is the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, has offered reasons why residents of Okuama in Delta State are yet to have access to their homes days after the military took over the community.

The CDS made this known on a day the chairman of the Okoloba community in Delta State, Mr. Clement Koki, alleged that the people of Okuama hired the mercenaries who killed the military men in the riverside settlement.

Africa Today News, New York recalls that Okuama and Okoloba communities have been embroiled in a communal clash which preceded the killing of the military personnel.

Speaking on Arise TV, Gen Musa said troops were currently conducting a cordon and search operation in the community (as arms and ammunition of the killed in-action troops have not been recovered).

It would be recalled that irate youths who are suspected residents of Okuama working with some other suspects on March 14, ambushed and murdered the Commanding Officer of 181 Army Amphibious Battalion, two majors, one captain and 13 soldiers
The Defence Headquarters had said the troops were attacked while responding to a distress call, arising from a clash between Okuama and Okoloba communities, both in Delta State.

Eight suspects have since been declared wanted in connection with the brutal murder of the military personnel by Defence headquarters.

Gen Musa stated that Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State and residents of Okuama where the attack took place, have no access to the community because the security agencies were carrying out a “cordon and search” operation in the area.

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He also said the Nigerian Army was not taking laws into its own hands by declaring wanted, some persons wanted over the killing of the 17 officers and men.

We are currently conducting a cordon and search in the community. Cordon and search operation means we are searching every nook and cranny within the community because they have a lot of illegal funds from crude oil theft.

“They have bought a lot of weapons. It is for us to thoroughly clean the community to ensure that no weapon, no explosive is left in the community. I can tell you that at the end of the operation, residents of the community will always go back,” he said.

Meanwhile, Okoloba community has accused Okuama of being behind the killing of officers and men of the Nigerian Army in their domain.

Chairman of the Okoloba community, Mr. Clement Koki, enmeshed in a communal row with the Okuama community, where 17 soldiers lost their lives on March 14, has alleged the people of Okuama hired the mercenaries who killed the military men in the riverside settlement.

Okoloba, an Ijaw community in Bomadi Local Government Area Delta State, shares a boundary with Okuama, an Urhobo community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of state.

Chairman of the Okoloba community, Clement Koki, who reacted to the account of an Okuama leader detailing how soldiers and villagers died in the community, and how an Okoloba leader escorted the Army to the community on March 14, exclusively published by Vanguard on April 2, maintained that the narration was “full of fabricated lies and complicity”

On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen T. A. Lagbaja, at the Nigerian Army’s Civil-Military Cooperation Media Chat for the first quarter of 2024, in Asaba, capital of Delta State, yesterday, urged the media to refrain from inadvertently amplifying the activities of undesirable elements.

Africa Today News, New York

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