HomeGeneralArmy Changes Story On 17 Soldiers  Killed In Delta, Blames Bunkerers

Army Changes Story On 17 Soldiers  Killed In Delta, Blames Bunkerers

Contrary to the narration initially peddled that 17 soldiers and officers killed in Okuama, Delta State, met death at the hands of one party involved in the conflict for which the uniformed men went on a peace-keeping mission, the Nigerian Army high command has blamed their death on oil bunkerers.

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, said that the Commanding officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel A.H. Ali, had been targeted for trying to put an end to illegal oil bunkering in the area.

Additionally, he said that the Nigerian Army had already identified the “person” responsible for the attack and killing of the troops from the 181 Battalion.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio, during a plenary session of the Upper Chamber, had suggested that the killers might be foreign mercenaries and not Niger-Delta indigenes.

Both Okoloba and Okuoma are Niger-Delta communities of Delta State.

Speaking publicly, General Musa said that the Army was following up with the suspected culprits, and the hoodlums would be caught ultimately.

Speaking at a public outing, the CDS said: “We know who did this, we are following up with him, and it’s just a matter of time, we are sure we are going to get him.

“I know him, the CO himself, Lieutenant Colonel Ali, of recent, because we were emphasising, we want the oil production of Nigeria to increase so that we will be able to have enough foreign exchange, and then things can really go down because we all know the challenges we are going.

“And so, he insisted that all illegal activities within the general area must stop. So, he directed all his troops and they were stopping all these illegal bunkering, stopping all these things, and then these are the people benefitting from it. And so, when this issue came, it came as an opportunity for them to also go and do away with him, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Musa said that the community clash between Okuoma and its neighbour Okoloba lay at the bottom of the killings too.

Musa explained, “Basically, it was a community clash that was happening and those are his own area of responsibilities, and that was why he responded when initially, his soldiers, some soldiers were apprehended by the communities.

“We know that because of these issues of bunkering, we have a lot of pirates, militants that are still operating in the area, and they have a lot of funding because of the area at which it’s been carried out. So, they always have a lot of arms with them.

“These are people they know and that’s why when he heard it, he felt that these are my communities, these are the people I know, and he went to say, oh, this thing that you’re doing is not right, whatever it is within the community, we can do it, invite the stakeholders, let them come and handle it in a single mission and all these things, and the community said okay.

“But as they turned to go, they were rounded up, killed, not only killed, they were dismembered.

The General said, “And I don’t know what kind of, for a human being to go to that extent to go for people that came on a peaceful means, then that’s something that must be looked at.”


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