Killing Of 17 Soldiers: DHQ Declares Prof, 7 Others Wanted

  • As Tinubu decorates deceased officers, soldiers with post-humous honours
  • Gallant soldiers’ children bags FG scholarships to university level
Slain soldiers for interment

BY EDMOND ODOK – Hours after laying to rest the remains of the 17 soldiers killed at Okuama community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State amid wailing and gnashing of teeth, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has declared eight persons wanted over the March 14, 2024 deadly attack.

Among those listed as wanted persons by the Nigerian Military is a Professor of Physics at the Delta State University, Ekpekpo Arthur. Sources hinted that Arthur, who is of the Department of Physics, and specialises in Solid State Physics, was once the Dean, Faculty of Science, in the institution.

Others on the wanted list published by the DHQ on Thursday morning include a woman, Igoli Ebi, Reuben Baru, Sinclear Okiki, Akata Malawa David and Akevwru Daniel Omotogbono (a.k.a Amagbem), Clement Ikolo Oghenerukevwe, and Andowei Denni Bakriri.

On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, the remains of the 17 soldiers, comprising four officers, a Colonel, Lt. Colonel, and two Majors as well as 13 soldiers were buried at the Nigerian Army Cemetery Abuja.

Tinubu Condoles Soldiers’ Families
With gloom and lamentations by family members grieving the loss of their loved ones,
President Bola Tinubu, who attended the funeral, urged the Chiefs and Elders of Okuama to help the military fish out those behind the barbaric murder of the personnel on a peace mission to the community, saying the culprits will not go unpunished.

Vowing that nothing would left undone to ensure justice for the memories of the murdered soldiers, President Tinubu directed the chiefs and elders of Okuoma community to assist the military fish out those behind the barbaric murder of the personnel on a peace mission to the community.

The President, who assured that the culprits would not go unpunished, however warned the Military against reprisal attacks that would lead to innocent people bearing the brunt of the wicked ones among them.

He also announced the Federal Government’s decision to bestow on the deceased officers and soldiers post-humous honours while offering scholarships to the fallen soldiers’ children up to university level.

In commending the Armed Forces for their restraint in choosing not to carry out any reprisal attacks on Okuama or its neighbouring communities, the Presidente said; “It is worth restating the debt of gratitude we owe these valiant soldiers and their families.

“As Commander-In-Chief, I do not take the contributions of members of our armed forces for granted. I recognise your valour and bravery. I honour your unflinching commitment to making our country safe from criminals, bandits, kidnappers and insurrectionists.

“While we continue to grieve for the courageous men we lost that day, let us also, on this solemn occasion, be reminded of the unfinished business of working for peace and harmony in our communities.”

Charging leaders at all levels to be patriotic in their outlook and commitment to the Nigerian Project, Tinubu further said; “We must begin to rebuild our communities and make them into places where love, tolerance and harmony will reign. Leaders at all levels, especially community leaders and traditional rulers, must work to strengthen the bonds that unite us. We must end the cycle of violence and bloodletting.

“I want to make it clear, once more, that those who committed this heinous crime will not go unpunished. We will find them and our departed heroes will get justice.”

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