“Soldiers Started the Whole Thing”: Eyewitness Provides Fresh Account of Cause of Delta Killings

  • An eyewitness has provided a new perspective on the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing of 17 soldiers in Delta
  • The witness, a resident of the affected Okuama community, alleges that the army initiated the confrontations that subsequently escalated out of control
  • He expressed his belief that individuals not publicly known may be responsible for the attack, suggesting that the government’s focus may be misdirected

Delta state – The killing of 17 soldiers and an unconfirmed number of villagers in Okuama community, Delta state, on March 14th, has been attributed to a land dispute instigated by a leader from Okoloba in Bomadi Local Government Area.

This marks a new development in the conflicting narratives surrounding the cause of the fatal incident that caught the nation off guard

President Tinubu attended the funeral service of the fallen heroesAn eyewitness, a resident of the now-ransacked community, says the soldiers were the architect of the whole situation.
Image: X/officialABATSource: Facebook

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, a leader from Okuama, whose name is purposefully withheld for security reasons, clarified that the incident was provoked by soldiers sent by the Okoloba leader, purportedly for a peace talk regarding a kidnapping complaint.

However, tensions escalated when the soldiers insisted on taking community leaders with them, resulting in a confrontation and gunfire that claimed lives.

The source said:

“The people were wary of their agenda, and this brought argument, and the army opened fire and started shooting, people started running, and our people were not prepared for it, talk of fighting soldiers”

Complicity of Bayelse-based Amagbein

Regarding the involvement of Bayelsa-based militant leader Amagbein, the Okuama leader asserted that there is no connection between him and the community.

He emphasised that Okuama was not prepared for conflict on the day of the incident, as most villagers were in the farms.

He said:

” Okuama does not have anybody called Amagbein. As I said, Okuama was not ready for any fight as our people went to the farm that day, only a few people were around that day. Okuama does not know about that connection and Amagbein is not related to Okuama either from his mother or father’s side. “

Community in disarray

Amid allegations of a military crackdown and the burning of the Okuama community, the leader highlighted the dire situation faced by villagers, with over 15 deaths reported and many displaced and suffering in the bush.

He appealed for assistance from both the state and federal governments, accusing the Nigerian Army of oppression.

He disclosed:

“As I am talking to you, our people are completely in disarray, they are in the bush dying of hunger, starvation, and various sicknesses. Over 15 people have died, they do not have any place to go, and the army had taken over the community. They burnt and demolished the community with caterpillars”

The Okuama leader also detailed the longstanding boundary dispute with Okoloba, which escalated due to encroachment into Okuama land and previous violent incidents instigated by the Okoloba leader.

He denied any involvement in hiring militants and said Okuama people are predominantly peasant farmers and fishermen who have no means or might to cause the reported attack of that scale.

The leader disputed claims by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and clarified the identity of individuals from Okuama listed on the wanted list.

He provided video evidence of the attack and abduction of Okuama natives in January, implicating the boys of the Ijaw leader from Okoloba.

Residents of Ughelli and Warri urged the military to allow access to Okuama for the proper burial of the deceased, emphasizing the traditional and religious significance of mourning and burying loved ones.

Delta Governor, Oborevwori Explains 2 Ways to Resolve Crisis

Meanwhile, TheTalk.NG earlier reported that Governor Sheriff Oborevwori gave assurance that no innocent citizens would suffer due to the killing of 16 soldiers in the Okuama community.

After meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Delta state governor disclosed two approaches to move forward.

Oborevwori stated that the culprits behind the heinous act would be held accountable, and measures would be taken to prevent such a tragic incident from recurring.

Source: TheTalk.NG


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