Attack on Soldiers: Troops ‘ll remain in the creek until perpetrators are arrested — Army


The Nigerian Army on Thursday declared that its troops would remain in the creek until one Endurance Okodeh, alias Amangben, the prime suspect, and others involved in the killing of 17 soldiers and some civilians at Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State are arrested.

The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force, South South, Operation Delta Safe, Major General Jamal Abdussalam, also said that there would be no peace until all the weapons stolen by the perpetrators of the crime are recovered.

General Abdussalam spoke while hosting the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, who paid him a condolence visit at the Division’s Headquarters, Port Harcourt Barracks.l

The GOC however assured all that the troops conducting operations over the murder of officers and soldiers at Okuama community would “be firm, strong, decisive, and professional in the course of the operations in the general area.”

Abdussalam, while appreciating the NDDC Managing Director and his team for the visit, reiterated that “no amount of propaganda, arm-twisting, blackmailing, intimidation and false narratives would distract troops from staying on course to achieve their objectives”.

He said, “The mission handed to troops by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, is basically to recover the weapons carted away by the perpetrators of this heinous crime and ensure that all those involved are arrested.

“Troops will continue to be in the creeks until these objectives are achieved.”

The GOC however assured all that “the operations would be conducted in the most professional manner in line with the global best practice of adherence to rules of engagement and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry”.

He appealed to people and communities to assist troops regarding the location of the fleeing suspects and the stolen weapons.

He urged the public to avail the Nigeria Army credible intelligence on where to get the criminals and ensure they answer for their crimes.

While calling on people of the Niger Delta region to go about their normal activities, Abdussalam maintained that “troops will not rest until all those involved are tracked down to account for their deeds.”

He reassured all that the operation is being conducted in such a way that, going forward, nobody would contemplate attacking men in uniform.

He also stressed that “false narratives being churned out, and propaganda peddled over this mindless criminality  would not deter troops from fishing out the criminals”.

He emphasized that “the Armed Forces of Nigeria is the symbol of our sovereignty”, stressing that “the Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu captured it succinctly when he said an attack on our Armed Forces is an attack on our nation”.

The GOC appreciated the MD and his team for identifying with the NA at this moment of grief saying that “there would not be development without peace and security, thus, the two institutions would continue to work together for the common good of society”.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NDDC, Ogbuku, while commiserating with the GOC, said that “without peace in the Niger Delta region, there would not be development.”

He averred that the Niger Delta region has been peaceful for some time, owing to the sacrifices of officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria submitting, however, that the sad event that occurred in Okuama has called for concern.

This, according to him, informed the reason he led his management team on a condolence visit to the Division, as they stand in solidarity with the NA over the gruesome murder of officers and soldiers.

Ogbuku said that “this unfortunate incident didn’t define the people of the Niger Delta region” as, according to him, for years now, the people of the region have embraced peace and dialogue.

He further said that no one  in the region is in support of this mindless act of criminality because the region has been relatively calm and remains the bedrock of the national economy.

The NDDC boss called on all stakeholders to calm and support the Nigeria Army to fish out the perpetrators of the act saying “this is the only way justice would be served, particularly to those who paid the supreme price”.

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