Soldiers bar Journalists as Gov Oborevwori visits Okuama troubled community

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By Anastacia Eluwa, Asaba

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State on Monday visited the troubled Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the State to assess the extent of the destruction.

It could be recalled that it has been four days after the killings of 16 military officers and civilians in the community during the army peacekeeping mission.

The JTF operatives barricaded the major entries to Okuama with an armored personnel carrier tank, thus preventing vehicular and human traffic, including media men, from gaining access to the community.

But Oborevwori, who was received by the leader of the military JTF, General Officer Commanding 6 Division Nigeria Army, Major General Jamaal Abdulsalam, thereafter, went into a closed-door meeting that lasted for about one hour.

The military Joint Task Force, JTF, however, barred Journalists from covering the Governor’s assessment tour of the troubled community.

As at the time of filing this report, information on the outcome of the meeting was not disclosed to the Journalists.

It was gathered that 15 out of the 16 bodies of military officers killed in an ambush while on a peace mission to Okuama in Ughelli South Local Government Area and Okolaba in Bomadi Area Council of Delta State have been recovered.

Consequently the residents of the two communities have fled their homes for fear of reprisal attack by soldiers.

Recall that the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, disclosed Sunday in Abuja that some residents of the two warring communities ambushed and killed 16 officers and personnel of the 181 Amphibious Battalion of the Nigerian Army who were on a peace mission to the areas on Thursday.

“The troops of the 181 Amphibious Batallion, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, while on peace mission to Okuama community in the Bomadi LGA of Delta State, were surrounded by some community youths and killed on Thursday, March 14, 2024. The unfortunate incident occurred when the troops responded to a distress call regarding the communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities, both in Delta State.

“The reinforcement team led by the commanding officer was also attacked, leading to the death of the commanding officer, two Majors, one Captain and 12 soldiers.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has directed the immediate investigation and arrest of those involved in the heinous crime. The occurrence has been reported to the Delta State Government,” he said.

It was reported that 15 bodies of the soldiers were recovered by soldiers of the Joint Task Force under the supervision of the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam in the Okuama community.

Some of the recovered corpses had their heads severed, while the stomachs of others were ripped and some of the vital organs missing.