Delta community razed following killing of 16 soldiers

Ijaw Community writes Tinubu over Delta killings

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Okoloba community in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta has refuted counter reports that its youths were responsible for the cruel massacre of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army reportedly deployed to engender peace in Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the State.

Recall that 17 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army and several civilians were cruelly felled last Thursday during a reported peace mission to Okuama over a disputed piece of land with Okoloba community.

In a petition addressed to President Bola Tinubu, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, the National Security Adviser and authorities of the Nigerian Armed Forces , among others, the Chairman, Okoloba Federated Community, Mr Clement Koki, described as misleading narratives that Ijaw youths killed the soldiers.

“The attention of Okoloba Federated Community (OFC) has been drawn to a deliberate and maliciously misleading report … to the effect that irate Ijaw youths, in a gun duel, killed army officers and soldiers on a peace mission to Okuama, an Urhobo community falsely reported as Ijaw community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State.

“First, we commiserate with the Nigeria Army and the families of the slain gallant officers who died in the line of duty. May God Almighty grant their souls eternal rest.

“Following from the above and against the background of the Military High Command reported desire to unearth the truth to guide their actions, it is pertinent to offer corrections of the deliberate distortion of facts in the report.

“Indeed we believe the Vanguard story is a deliberate attempt by perpetrators of this heinous crime and cold-blooded murder of personnel of the Nigeria Army and the Nigerian State. It is aimed to pass the blame on the rustic, peace- loving and law-abiding neighboring  Okoloba community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State, who have been at the receiving end of the extreme aggression, violence and the terror of the Okuama – Urhobo community for so long.

“Let it be made clear that, the crisis in which the JTF intervened to sue for peace is not between two Ijaw Communities in Bomadi LGA as falsely reported in Vanguard news media to give the wrong  impression that Ijaw youths supposedly fighting on both sides, were the ones that killed the military personnel.

“Okoloba is an Ijaw  community in Bomadi LGA while Okuama is a neighboring Urhobo community in Ughelli South LGA  of Delta State. The gun duel took place in Okuama Community in Ughelli South LGA, Delta State, between the soldiers  and Okuama Community youths resulting in the killing of the army personnel.

“The dispute between the two neighboring Ijaw and Urhobo communities had drawn the attention of the Delta State Government wherein the Executive Governor had  intervened via the office of the Special Adviser  on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution,  beckoning on all parties to maintain  peace.

“The chronicle of the dastardly acts of Okuama-Urhobo aggression over the crises is known to the Delta State Government and security agencies in the area.

“Despite the State Government intervention, the Urhobo Okuama community, recently defied the peace deal by  kidnapping one Anthony Aboh in his mother’s farm in the Okoloba community and much later killed him with the corpse thrown into River Forcados.

“The kidnap-cum-murder incident was promptly reported to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Nigeria Police  Bomadi, Military Joint Task Force (JTF), Bomadi Division, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Bomadi.

“Before the latest development, Okuama, an Urhobo community had killed an Okoloba Ijaw community youth, Pigha Zipamone in similar circumstances. We as peace- loving and law- abiding citizens, reported and handed over to the police, the corpse of Pigha Zipamone abducted from our farms by the Okuama Urhobo people and mercilessly killed and his lifeless body was found floating on March 9, 2024.

“The Urhobo Okuama community had severally threatened mass murder and annihilation of Okoloba Community, boasting a stockpile of arms and ammunition and recruitment of mercenaries from sister Ewu-Urhobo  communities in Ughelli South LGA.

“It is also known to the already informed law enforcement agencies that the Urhobo Okuama community attacked the Okoloba community on January 27, 2024. And this was also  promptly reported by the Okoloba Community to the law enforcement authorities and to the state government respectively.

“It is against the backdrop of these constant threats and aggression against the peace-loving and law – abiding people of Okoloba – Ijaw community and the string of attacks which we had earlier reported to the constituted authorities and the state government respectively and the recent kidnapping and gruesome murder of Okoloba sons by the heartless Okuama community that compelled us to send an SOS to the security Agencies to intervene, as we are a peaceful and law-abiding Community.

“The JTF in Bomadi knows the difference between Okoloba, an Ijaw community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State and the neighboring Urhobo- Okuama community in Ughelli South LGA of Delta State. It is therefore unfortunate that Vanguard newspaper, a supposedly respected media outfit, resorted to obvious and deliberate misrepresentation and  falsehood in its reportage of this dastardly and evil act against the personnel of the Nigeria Army.

“We use this medium to call on  the Vanguard news media  and other media organizations respectively, peddling this deliberate falsehood to immediately retract and apologize to Okoloba Community in Bomadi LGA, Delta State and the Ijaw nation at large and, please stay on the path of truth.

“We note that the Ewu  Kingdom Monarch to which Okuama is an integral part, HRM Emmanuel Okolo, has publicly acknowledged that the killing of the army  personnel happened in Okuama, a community in his Kingdom.

“We use this medium to commend the sincerity of the Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborovweri, in properly stating in his public reaction to the condemnable killing of the military personnel which he noted occurred in Okuama, an Urhobo community in Ughelli South LGA, Delta.

“We also like to thank the Delta State Governor Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborovweri for his untiring efforts in the recent past to make sure peace reigns in the state.

“We once again condole with the families of the courageous officers who laid down their lives for the peace of Nigeria. We however appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Delta State Government and the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies not to rest on their oars despite the horrific carnage carried out by  the Urhobo people of Okuama.

“The aggression and carnage displayed by the Okuama Urhobo people in the unprovoked  attack on the  peace-seeking army personnel reveals an eerie and frightening fate that awaits the defenceless and peace-loving Okoloba Ijaw people!

“We therefore beseech the State and Federal government to avoid a security gap in the area to save our souls! ”

However, Okuama community, whose youths were believed to have carried out the dastardly act, has also refuted claims that it was responsible for the killings of troops of the Nigerian Army.

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