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Okuama: Tinubu To Attend Burial Of Slain Soldiers Today

The Commanding Officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, two majors, one captain, and 13 soldiers of the battalion were among those killed on March 14.


Soldiers killed in Okuama, Delta State

 

Barring any last-minute changes, the 17 military personnel who were killed in Okuama, a community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, will be buried today (Wednesday).

The Commanding Officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, two majors, one captain, and 13 soldiers of the battalion were among those killed on March 14.

The soldiers had “responded to a distress call” following trouble between the Okuama and Okoloba communities.

They were said to have been ambushed by irate youths during a communal clash over a land dispute in Bomadi and Okuoma communities in the state.

According to reports, the beheaded corpses of the slain soldiers were later recovered from neighbouring rivers, while the stomachs and hearts of others were ripped off.

The horrific manner in which the military personnel were killed drew condemnation from authorities including President Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian Senate and the defence headquarters. Angry Tinubu described it as an attack on the nation and gave marching orders to security agencies to fish out the masterminds of the attack.

READ ALSO: How Land Dispute Led To Killing Of Soldiers In Delta – Community Leader

Burial For 3 pm

 

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Army said the slain soldiers would be buried at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja at 3 pm on Wednesday.

Billed to attend the event is President Tinubu who will be the Special Guest of Honour in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief.

Earlier Tinubu condemned the killing, saying the perpetrators, whom he described as “cowardly” must not go unpunished.

In a message he released Sunday evening, said the killing is “unprovoked” and “dreadful”.

“As the Commander-in-Chief, I join all well-meaning Nigerians and the men and women of our armed forces to mourn and express my profound grief over the needless death of our gallant soldiers,” Tinubu said.

“I extend my profound condolences to the families of these fallen soldiers, their colleagues, and their loved ones. The military high command is already responding to this incident. The cowardly offenders responsible for this heinous crime will not go unpunished.”

RELATED : Okuama: Six Burning Questions Regarding Killing Of The Nigerian Soldiers

Reprisal Fears

Worried by possible fear of reprisal by the military, coupled with the mounting tension since the gruesome killing, Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, on the same day met President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Oborevwori says military authorities have assured him of the safety of residents of the community.

“I decided to come here to brief Mr President of all the things we have been doing to maintain peace. Mr President has assured me that he is in support of peace and we both condemn the killing of the officers and the soldiers because they were there on a peace mission,” he said after the meeting.

“What is happening now is something that we did not bargain for. But we want to assure everybody that there will be no more attacks on the villages.

“If there’s anyone that this has happened to in the past, there will be no attack. But we know that those who are culpable will be brought a book but innocent citizens  will not be attacked.”