• Friday, April 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Killing of soldiers communally orchestrated but we won’t retaliate – Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army said the gruesome killing of its personnel in Okuoma, Delta state was “communally orchestrated” by members of the community, stating that “there will be no reprisal on the part of the troops.”

On Thursday, 17 military personnel, including a lieutenant colonel, two majors, one captain, and 13 soldiers, lost their lives during a mission in Okuoma, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta.
The incident has received condemnation from both the Delta state and federal governments, with assurances that the culprits will be held accountable.

Onyema Nwachukwu, the Nigerian Army spokesperson, stated on Monday that the community chose to engage in media tactics rather than cooperate to identify the culprits.
Nwachukwu mentioned that the community’s narrative is misleading and aims to gain public sympathy for the murder of the military personnel.

“These were troops committed to peace and security of lives and property of citizens and non-citizens alike in the Niger Delta Region, murdered in cold blood by an armed youth gang of Okuoma Community in the most gruesome, heartless, and cruel manner, and went ahead to sacrilegiously debase their remains by ripping out their hearts by the very people they were there to protect.

“Regrettably, the community complicit in this dastardly act has resorted to media propaganda and shenanigans, rather than engage in a positive effort to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” the statement reads.

The spokesperson emphasised that such tactics would not change the narrative and implicated the community in the killing.

“This is again a clear indication that the murder of the troops was a communally orchestrated attack against legitimate forces.
“The falsehood being peddled by these criminals and their cohorts to whip up sentiments and sway the public to cover up, endorse, or support the outrageous criminal acts of their armed youth gang,” he said.

Nwachukwu reiterated that the army will not retaliate and encouraged residents to go about their lawful activities.