Okuama: What Really Led To The Killings of 17 Soldiers [Eyewitness account]

Okuama: What Really Led To The Killings of 17 Soldiers [Eyewitness account]

A leader of the Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, whose identity is withheld, has disclosed the circumstances surrounding the killing of 17 soldiers and an undisclosed number of civilians in the community on March 14th.
According to report, a leader from Okoloba in Bomadi Local Government Area, involved in a land dispute with Okuama, reportedly led soldiers to the community to pursue a personal agenda on the fateful day.

In his words, "That very day when the Army came, people had gone to the farm, including the community Chairman. They called him from the farm, notifying him that visitors wanted to meet the leadership. They welcomed them at the town hall; the community inquired what their mission was.

"They told our people they came in respect of a kidnapping complaint by an Ijaw leader and Okoloba people, and that they want to search the community. So they allowed it because we knew there was nothing like that.
"After searching, they came back to the town hall; they found nothing but insisted that they want to go with the community Chairman, Secretary, and other leaders. The people refused, saying you said you came for peace talks and searched. Now, you want to go with our people.

"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. In that process, they killed several people, we have some photographs, as the issue was raging and the army, after shooting, headed towards the waterside.

"Other speedboats, about three were seen coming towards the community, one of our youth captured one of the boats, and they came for full attack, and opened fire on both the soldiers and some Okuama people around the jetty. That is what led to the killing of the soldiers and our people.

"Our people they shot also fell into the water, up till now, we have not been able to record exactly how many are dead.
"The following day, the military reinforced again to Okuama; that Okuama killed Nigeria Army personnel, and that is what led them to burning of the community.


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