NEWS

One Dead, Three Wounded as Army Withdraws From Okuama

Yesterday, in the troubled Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, one person was reportedly killed, and three others sustained machete wounds as the Nigerian military withdrew amidst chaos.

This withdrawal follows the March 14, 2024 incident where soldiers, on a peace and rescue mission, were killed in Okuama, leading to the military burning down the community in retaliation. According to sources from neighboring Akugbene and Okoloba communities in Bomadi local government area, the soldiers unexpectedly pulled out of Okuama on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, without prior notice.

A former chairman of Akugbene, who pleaded anonymity, said: “We were surprised to see the soldiers pulled out yesterday (Tuesday) and some indigenes of Okuama immediately went back to the community.

“We believed some soldiers who are of Urhobo decent at Okuama must have passed prior information to them of their planned pull out. We have some respite now as we were like in a cage, not moving out to neighbouring communities at the Okuama direction where we go and buy most of our food stuff and household materials, particularly at the Okuagbe market.

“But, as I’m talking to you, there is a problem; three indigenes of our community have already been ambushed and attacked with machetes by Okuama returnees. They were on their way to Ezebiri community along the footpath linking various communities on hearing that the road is free.

“One of them who escaped back to our community with machete cuts narrated that they were attacked by the Okuama returnees while on their way to Ezebiri, who pointed guns at them. They attacked them with machetes when he managed to escape, while others were led towards the jetty at the community waterfront.

“The victim is in a critical condition with us right here at the primary healthcare centre”.

Confirming the news, an indigene of other neighbouring community, said: “Yes, they pulled out of Okuama yesterday (Tuesday) around 5 to 6 pm. A soldier said that they received a signal from above to leave the community immediately.

“On the Akugbene and Okuama returnees news, those youths went to Okuama to loot upon hearing that soldiers have left the community. Armed youths of Okuama accosted and shot at them and some are said to have been cut with machetes. Two of those Akugbene youths escaped to our community unhurt and we’ve already sent them back to their community”.

Another Akugbene source, who spoke to our reporter amidst the rumoured chaos in the creek, disclosed that one of the two victims who escaped back to the community is dead.

“As I’m talking to you, one of the two persons escaped back from the Okuama assault is already dead”, he said.

However, the chairman of Okoloba community, Mr Clement Koki, in his reaction said that his community would continue to maintain the peace and pray to God for protection.

“It is true that the soldiers have left Okuama. On our part as a community, we will continue to maintain the peace and pray to God Almighty for His protection and support”, he said.

……….

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