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Nigerian military says it’s not responsible for retaliatory attacks in Delta community 
Image for illustration purposes only

Nigerian military says it’s not responsible for retaliatory attacks in Delta community 


The Nigerian military says it is not responsible for the reprisal attack on Okuama community in Delta State. It also suggested that the retaliatory attack on the community could have been carried out by the rival Okoloba community.

Recall that suspected residents of Okuama community on Thursday ambushed and murdered the Commanding Officer of 181 Army Amphibious Battalion, two majors, one captain and 12 soldiers. The military initially said a total of 16 soldiers were killed but on Monday, it posted the names and photos of 17 soldiers including the commander (a lieutenant colonel), two majors, one captain and 13 soldiers.


The military confirmed the killing of the soldiers on Saturday. On Sunday morning, the Okuama community was attacked and many houses there were burnt. It is that Sunday morning attack that the military has now denied.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, a major general, in a statement on Monday, said the community was already deserted even before troops arrived there.
Mr Buba advised those peddling the news of reprisal attacks on the community by soldiers to desist from further “dishonouring the fallen heroes.”

He said it behoves on the community leaders, elders and the people of Delta to identify the perpetrators of the murder, so that they could be brought to account for the heinous crime.


Mr Buba then suggested that the burning of the Okuama community could have been carried out by the rival Okoloba community. It was the fighting between the two communities that soldiers were sent to resolve before they were killed on Thursday.

The defence spokesperson said as long as the dispute between Okuama and Okoloba communities remained, it “implies that there could be untoward activities not initiated by the military.

“Overall, there is no doubt, that this (killing of the soldiers) is an extremely sad development and untoward activity by members of the Okuama community against troops that were there to protect them.

“We urge the public to resist the temptation of allowing any videos of the incident of the killed personnel from going viral.


“It would be a dishonour to the fallen heroes to allow such ugly videos of their demise go viral.

“Above all, as the military mourns, it remains ever determined to ensure safety and security of citizens across the country,” he said.

Mr Buba said it was tragic, senseless and barbaric to have killed the officers and soldiers in such a dehumanised and unspeakable manner.


According to him, while the armed forces mourns the loss of the gallant troops, there will be measured responses and consequences for the perpetrators.

He consoled their families, colleagues and loved ones over the tragic incident.

Mr Buba reminded Nigerians that the armed forces consist of citizens from every nook and cranny of the nation who had taken oath of allegiance to put themselves in harms way to defend the country.

The defence spokesperson said it was in line with this, that troops were deployed on internal security operations in about all the states of the federation to intervene, deescalate and contain security breaches.

“The ugly incident in Okuama Community in Delta is indicative of the dangers our gallant troops experience in order to secure our nation.

“The military assures that there would be measured responses and injurious consequences for the perpetrators of these dastardly act.

“Nevertheless, the armed forces being a disciplined force that complies with rules of engagement, laws of armed conflict and the respect for human rights would be tempered by these provisions.

“We would not be led by emotions, but by the rule of law,” he added.

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