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Okuama killing: Ijaw elders condemn military crackdown, demand justice for slain personnel



Ijaw Elders Forum Lagos

The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) of the Lagos branch has voiced deep concerns over recent events surrounding the tragic killing of 17 military personnel at Okuama in Delta state and the subsequent military operation to apprehend the perpetrators.

In a statement signed by Chief Bukazi Etete and Mr Efiye Bribena, Chairman and Secretary respectively, the forum condemned the attack on the military personnel as unacceptable and called for the swift isolation and apprehension of the culprits to face the full force of the law.

“The killing of military personnel in Okuama community is a dastardly act that must be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators brought to justice following relevant laws,” the forum asserted.

While expressing dismay over alleged military invasion and destruction of lives and properties in Okuama, Delta state, and Igbomatoru, Bayelsa state, the IEF urged authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incidents and ensure all responsible parties are held accountable.

Emphasizing the constitutional role of the military in protecting citizens, the elders urged for the utmost respect for rules of engagement, particularly when dealing with civilians.

The Ijaw Elders also called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the military personnel at Okuama and other affected communities, including collateral damages resulting from the incident.

Expressing regret over the resort to violence in settling disputes, the IEF appealed to leaders and individuals across communities to seek peaceful means of conflict resolution.

Furthermore, the elders cautioned against statements and actions that could exacerbate tensions and urged all parties to refrain from speculative reports that could compromise ongoing investigations.

The IEF strongly denounced the invasion of the country home of Chief E.K. Clark, a respected national leader of the Ijaw nation, and demanded an explanation or an unreserved apology from military authorities.

Lastly, the Ijaw Elders Forum called for adequate compensation for all individuals, military personnel, families, and communities impacted by the recent events, emphasizing the need for accountability and restitution.

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