• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Okuama disaster: Ijaw elders condemn killing of soldiers, invasion of Clark’s home

Okuama disaster: Ijaw elders condemn killing of soldiers, invasion of Clark’s home

The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) has condemned the killing of 17 military officers in Okuama, the invasion of Edwin Clark’s home by soldiers, and demanded a thorough investigation into these occurences.

In a statement signed by Bukazi Etete and Efiye Bribena, chairman and secretary of the forum respectively, the elders expressed worries over recent developments in the Niger Delta region.

Read also: Okuama/Okoloba crisis great pain to us Oborevwori

“We condemn in very strong terms the killing of military personnel in Okuama community and call on the authorities to leave no stone unturned to investigate and bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice. This should be done with respect to relevant laws, swiftly and equitably.

“We find the invasion of the country home of the 97-year-old leader (Clark) unacceptable and request an explanation or an unreserved apology from the military authorities to the revered leader and the Ijaw nation,” the statement said.

The Ijaw elders expressed dismay over the invasion and wanton destruction of lives and properties in Okuama community in Delta State and Igbomatoru in Bayelsa State by the military.

They called on the Federal Government and the authorities concerned to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring to justice all those responsible for the killings and destruction of properties in both communities.

“The military has a constitutional role in protecting citizens and so must respect the rules of engagement when dealing with civilians.

It is, therefore, considered unbecoming for our respected military to be associated with acts of genocide, especially within our communities and country,” they noted.

The Ijaw elders said it was pertinent for the authorities to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the death of the military personnel at Okuama and other communities, including collateral damages.

“IEF observes with concern the negative attitude of communities and individuals in settling personal, inter and intra community disputes with the use of force and called on leaders and well-meaning individuals of every community in the region to explore ways as well as means of settling personal, intra and inter-community disputes without recourse to the use of violence,” they said.

Read also: Okuama killing: Urhobo forum demands truth commission

To avoid further escalation that the situation is not escalated, the elders called on all parties to avoid statements and actions that could further inflame the situation.

The elders’ forum called on President Bola Tinubu and all authorities concerned to adequately compensate all individuals, both military and civilians, families and communities who have been impacted by these evil activities of non-state actors and the military.