OKUAMA MASSACRE: Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom Presents Report To Army’s Board Of Inquiry

OKUAMA MASSACRE: Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom Presents Report To Army's Board Of Inquiry

OKUAMA MASSACRE: Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom Presents Report To Army’s Board Of Inquiry 

As the widely criticized Board of Inquiry constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, to investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of 17 soldiers, including four senior officers, on March 12, 20024, in Okuama, continues to sit in Warri, Delta State, South-South Nigeria, Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom has presented its report to the Board on Friday 12 April 12024.
The military personnel, the counsel to the Ewu-Urhobo kingdom,  Shaguolo … Esq, appeared at the inquiry session on behalf of the Deputy President General, the Secretary General of the kingdom, who had earlier been invited to interface with the Board.
The report read:
“The leadership of Ewu Clan Development Forum made up of the seventeen communities of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, including Okuama community in Ughelli South LGA of Delta State, Nigeria, wholeheartedly condemns the gruesome murder of the Officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army who were on a peace mission to Okuama community on 14tMarch 14024, and also sympathize with the families of the slain officers and soldiers.
“No doubt, the slain men of the Nigerian Army are bona fide citizens of the country, having equal rights with every law-abiding Nigerian.
“We pray they find peace with their creator as they remain heroes of our dear Nation.
“We also condemn and condole with the people of Okuama community and the families of innocent citizens killed by the reprisal attack by men of the Nigerian Army and the attendant continuous siege on the community denying the law abiding people of Okuama and other Nigerians access to the community.”
The report continued:
“It is imperative to state that before this tragic incident, the Okuama community in Ughelli South LGA shares boundaries with the Okoloba community in Bomadi LGA both of Delta state, Nigeria. Both communities have been living peacefully together for ages and even inter-marry.
“The situation, however, took a new but worrisome turn when both communities were embroiled in land disputes that led to the killing of three Okuama indigenes on 27 January 2724.
Consequently, an SOS letter was written by the Okuama community and expressly sent through the community’s solicitor to the Executive Governor of Delta State and the  Commissioner of Police, Delta State. Other relevant government agencies also received a copy of the letter.
“Furthermore, it is pertinent to say that Okuama is not an oil producing community and does not ‘harbour’ illegal bunkering activities within its territory.”
The report added:
“The leadership of Ewu Clan Development Forum cannot speak on behalf of the Okuama community regarding the killing of the seventeen soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army as we were not aware of the military men embarking on a peace mission on March 14024.
“It should be further noted that till this moment, we have not been able to access any surviving member of the Okuama community after the invasion of the community during a reprisal by the military on March 2024.
“However, we sincerely appeal to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Chief of Defence Staff, The Nigerian Army and the Government of Delta State, to allow the people of Okuama have unrestricted access to their community.
“They stand a better chance of telling their story/plight to relevant authorities, and the general public about the Okuama imbroglio.”
Vital documents and newspaper publications were attached to the report to buttress the claims articulated in it, for the Board of Inquiry’s perusal.
The documents included:
“An SOS letter from Okuama Community leaders to Delta State Governor and the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, on 2nd February 224, facilitated by Okuama Community leaders’ counsel;
“Saturday Vanguard Publications of 6th April 624, entitled: “We’re dying, Army should allow us to return home.” And Okuama Killings: Who invited ‘General’ Amagbein, militant leader, to Okuama?
Recall that prominent Nigerians have faulted the composition of the panel, saying, “It’s unlawful,” just as reputable legal officers, SANs, and retired judges are calling on the federal government to disband the ongoing Army probe and institute a judicial inquiry, the Nigerian army has sustained its manhunt for the killers of military officers.
It is noteworthy that the army has razed down the entire Okuama, Ogbomotoro in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of neighboring Bayelsa State and other communities along the Forcados river in retaliatory attacks, killing and maiming citizens, most of whom are innocent of the killings amidst palpable of military invasion of communities that are unfortunately located in the mangrove areas of the oil-rich state.
Currently, there’s another fear of humanitarian crises as women and children are displaced from their ancestral homes.

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