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Okuama Killings: We’ll be Professional in Our Operations, Says Major General Abdulsalam

The General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army, says it’s mission is to arrest murderers of soldiers and recover weapons.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam has assured that troops conducting operations, over the murder of officers and soldiers at Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area would be firm, decisive and professional in the cause of the operations in the area. 

This as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku has called for concerted efforts and support for the military and other security agencies to ensure that peace reigns in the Niger Delta region for development to thrive.

Abdussalam who is also the Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force, South South, Operation Delta State, said the mission handed to troops by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja is basically to recover the weapons carted away by the perpetrators of the heinous crime and ensure that all those involved are arrested. 

Abdussalam made this known yesterday, when the Managing Director NDDC and his team paid him a condolence visit at the Division’s Headquarters in Port Harcourt Barracks.

Appreciating the NDDC boss and his team for the visit, the GOC said troops will continue to be in the creeks until the objectives are achieved. He said the two institutions would continue to work together for the common good of society. 

The GOC further reiterated that “no amount of propaganda, arm-twisting, blackmailing, intimidation, and false narratives would distract troops from staying on course to achieve their objectives”. 

He further assured that the operations would be conducted in the most professional manner in line with the global best practice of adherence to rules of engagement and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry. 

The GOC, however, called on people of the Niger Delta Region to go about their normal activities, while appealing to communities to assist troops regarding the location of the fleeing criminals and the carted away weapons. 

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, is the symbol of our sovereignty, the Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu captured it succinctly when he said an attack on our Armed Forces is an attack on our nation. Therefore, if we allow criminals to continue to attack our security forces , there will be anarchy”, the GOC said.

Major General Abdussalam warned that troops will not rest until all those involved are tracked down to account for their deeds. He said “false narratives being churned out, and propaganda peddled over this mindless criminality  would not deter troops from fishing out the criminals”. 

Earlier, Ogbuku who was accompanied on the visit by the NDDC Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Boma Iyaye; the Executive Director, Projects, Victor Antai and other directors of the Commission, commiserated with the military over the killing of the 17 soldiers in Okuoma.

Ogbuku, who condemned the killings, expressed his condolences and that of the NDDC Governing Board to the families of the slain military personnel and the Armed Forces family.

He said the NDDC would continue to support the military and other law enforcement agencies in their mission to maintain peace in the region, noting that development could only take place in an atmosphere of peace and security.   

He declared: “Development and security are intertwined because without security there will be no development.

“The peace in the region was shattered by the gruesome murder of our soldiers in Delta State. We felt it was necessary to come to commiserate and grieve with the army. This incidence is an aberration that does not define the people of the region. We condemn it in its entirety. 

The Niger Delta is the bedrock of the Nigerian economy, so it is imperative that there is peace in the region. We appeal to our people to be calm and support the Nigerian Army to fish out the perpetrators of the crime so that justice can be served”.

Ogbuku, however, called on the military to observe the rules of engagement while undertaking their investigations in order to protect the lives of innocent members of the community.

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