Okuama 17: DHQ Extends Search For Killers To Rivers

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Tension has mounted in the coastal communities of Rivers State as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has extended the search for suspected killers of 17 soldiers in Okuama community in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State to the oil-rich state.
LEADERSHIP learnt that DHQ, in ordering the extension of the military operations to capture the fleeing suspects to Rivers, acted on intelligence reports, revealing that the suspects had fled to the state.
A reliable military source LEADERSHIP last night that the DHQ was in possession of intelligence reports that a notable former militant commander in the Niger Delta was harbouring some of the suspects at his Rivers State base.
Consequently, federal troops, in company of some Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) besieged his country home in Usokun in Degema local government area of the state in the early hours of yesterday, in a bid to arrest of some of the suspected killers of the soldiers believed to be taking refuge in the area.
Reports made available to LEADERSHIP by impeccable military sources revealed that the troops arrived at the abode of the ex-militant at 3am.
It was gathered that some armed renegades around him resisted the operation, a development which triggered a gun battle between the private combatants and the federal troops.
Two of his men were reportedly killed in the ensuing gun duel as they were overpowered by the superior strength of the men of the Nigerian Army.
The former militant leader was allegedly whisked away in the aftermath of the bloody encounter.
To this end, tension has heightened in the coastal region of the state in the wake of the military engagement in the area.
The cordon and search for the suspected killers of the soldiers had hitherto been limited to Bayelsa and Delta States.
“Soldiers were deployed in Usokun community in Degema LGA of Rivers State in the early hours of Monday following intelligence reports that the ex-militant (name withheld) is harbouring some of the suspects declared wanted in connection with the killing of our soldiers in Okuama in Delta State.
“The cordon and search operations, which were supposed to be conducted peacefully, became bloody when the boys around him attempted to prevent the soldiers from carrying out a legitimate exercise. The heavily armed boys confronted and challenged the troops.
“Since the troops came prepared, the renegades were dislodged and overpowered. There were casualties on the side of the non-state actors during the encounter but that was not the concern here.
“At the end of the day, he was arrested and taken to custody,“ the source, who pleaded not to be mentioned, said.
Last week, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. Gen. Christopher Musa, had hinted that the ongoing military operations in some parts of the Niger Delta would continue until the suspected killers of the soldiers were apprehended and brought to justice.
The commanding officer of 181 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Bomadi, the headquarters of Bomadi LGA of Delta State, Lt. Col. A. H. Ali, Major S.D. Shafa, Major D.E. Obi, Captain U. Zakari and 12 other soldiers, who were on peacekeeping and mediatory mission in Okuama, were murdered by suspected indigenes of the community on March 14, 2024, in circumstances currently under security scrutiny.
Eight persons, including the embattled traditional ruler of the area, HRM Clement Ikolo, Urukpe 1, were declared wanted by DHQ in connection with the dastardly act.
Already, the monarch, who surrendered himself to the authorities, has been taken into custody by the DHQ.




About Author

Comments are closed.