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Soldiers’ killing: Okuama community leader accuses Nigerian Army of mass killings

A community leader in Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State where military personnel were killed, has accused the Nigerian Army of mass killings in the area.

The community leader, who spoke to Punch on the condition of anonymity because of fear of harassment, warned that the soldiers’ actions could lead to a repeat of the Odi incident.

In 1999, the Army attacked Odi town in Bayelsa State after some soldiers were killed in the community.

Accusing the military, the community leader alleged that soldiers had begun targeting innocent civilians in the community rather than going after the miscreants who committed the crime.

He said, “If it involves mass arrest, nobody will complain about it, but mass killings are currently ongoing in the community. A situation where soldiers will enter a community and open fire is a terrible thing.

“The same thing that happened in Odi is happening in Okuama today. When people take laws into their own hands because of the mischief of a few, it becomes a problem. When miscreants go to an area and cause mayhem, and the military is taking that to wipe out an entire community, that is a bad omen.”

Also, there were reports on Monday that soldiers deployed in Okuama resorted to burning houses as residents fled the community.

Irate youths killed at least 17 military personnel during a communal clash over a land dispute in Bomadi and Okuoma communities in Delta State on Thursday.

The personnel attached to the 181 Amphibious Battalion were responding to a distress call when they were ambushed and killed on Thursday.

Many residents of Okuama in the Ughelli South Local Government Area and Okolaba in the Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State fled the communities on Friday, as soldiers took over the area and reportedly set some houses ablaze in reaction to the killing of 16 soldiers, including senior officers.

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2 Comments

  1. This kind of reprisal attacks by the Nigeria army is only popular in the south. Bandits, Boko Haram, iswap etc have been attacking and killing soldiers in different locations in the north especially the one that happened in Niger state not too long ago but the army never attempt carrying out reprisal against the communities where the killing took place. I am not in support of attacks on our soldiers who are already over stretched while fighting to maintain internal security but the army should try to maintain standard while carrying out reprisal against the communities where our soldiers were killed during attacks. When bandits killed our soldiers and even shot down a helicopter on rescue mission in Niger state, I thought the army would go on reprisal and level the communities in Niger state where the killing of many soldiers took place but since then nothing happened. The army should not treat the north or northerners with kids gloves while carrying out reprisal attacks on the communities where the soldiers were killed. The Nigerian army should try to carry out any reprisal attacks against any community with human face. You should not embark on shooting all living things on sight and setting ablaze all houses in the affected communities. The criminals you are looking for may not be there. The Odi reprisal attack by the Nigeria soldiers is still fresh in my mind.

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