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Senate wades into murder of 16 NA personnel in Delta

The Nigerian Senate Committees on Army, Defence, Air Force and Navy have been mandated to investigate the March 14 killing of 16 Nigerian Army personnel in Okuama Community of Delta.


This followed a point of order raised by Sen. Abdulaziz Yar ’Adua (APC- Katsina) during Tuesday’s plenary.

The motion was tagged “The killing of Nigerian Army Personnel in Okuama Community, Delta State and the Necessity for an Urgent Investigation.”

The upper chamber urged the Federal Government to ensure that those responsible for the heinous crime were identified and apprehended.

It added that they should be “brought to face the full consequences of their action through a fair and transparent legal process”.

Raising Orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Rules, Yar’adua, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, described the incidence as a serious threat to national security and the stability of the nation.

“The recent tragic incidence in Okuama Community, Ughelli South LGA of Delta on Thursday, March 14 resulting in the loss of a commanding officer, 2 majors, a captain and 12 soldiers during a peace mission.

“This highlights a serious threat to national security and stability of the nation.

“The tragic incidence underscores the urgent need for justice and accountability without resorting to retribution,” Yar’adua added.

He lamented that the understaffing of the Nigeria Police has made the military to take over internal policing duties such as organised crime, oil theft, communal crisis, kidnappings, banditry and other policing responsibilities.

Yar’adua said it was critical to streamline and deepen collaboration between the armed forces and law enforcement agencies on one side and the  Nigerian populace and communities on the other.

“This collaboration is essential to foster trust, enhance security and promote a sense of shared responsibility in preventing such tragedies in the future.”

Sen. Dafinone Edeh (APC-Delta) who seconded the motion, consoled the military high command and families of the slain soldiers.

In his contribution, Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin said what happened in Delta was despicable.

“It is inhuman and it is something that cannot be accepted.

“We need to commiserate with the Nigerian Armed Forces and indeed the entire nation, to condole the immediate families of the fallen heroes and the Nigerian military for what happened.

“It should be condemned, what happened is inhuman and no stone should be left in trying to find out the culprits who are responsible, and they must face justice, this should never happen again in this country,” Jibrin said.

Similarly, Sen. Ahmad Lawan said that the military needed support at all times not attacks, adding that “what happened in Delta was not an accident but well orchestrated to kill our men.”

He called on both the Executive and the Legislature to ensure better welfare for the military.

On his part, Sen. Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa) described the act as sad and dastardly, and called for inquiry to ascertain the totality of the facts of the matter.

“Let us direct the appropriate committee to go into this matter and then give us a full report; let’s know what really happened.”

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said that the entire Senate and the Nigerian society were concerned.

“We condemn this dastardly act. It portends danger for the entire society. Every single culprit involved must be brought out to face the full wrath of the law.

“This is not acceptable in any sane society in the world,” he said.



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