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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Nigerian Army Ends 51-Day Siege in Delta Community of Okuama

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ASABA, Nigeria – After a prolonged 51-day military presence, the Nigerian Army has withdrawn its troops from the community of Okuama in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

This decision follows the tragic incident where 17 military personnel were killed, sparking the military’s extended occupation of the area.

The troops had been stationed in Okuama to maintain order after the deadly clash reportedly tied to a land dispute with the neighbouring Okoloba community in Bomadi Local Government Area.

The military’s departure on Tuesday, May 7, was confirmed by residents of the nearby Okoloba and Akugbene communities, who witnessed the soldiers moving out along with their equipment.

Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed his gratitude towards President Bola Tinubu and the military high command during a media briefing on Wednesday.

“The withdrawal marks a significant step towards peace and allows for the safe return of Okuama residents to their ancestral homes,” stated Governor Oborevwori.

He highlighted the series of discussions with military leadership, including a pivotal conversation with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, which facilitated the de-escalation.

Governor Oborevwori’s remarks underscored the collaborative efforts between state and military officials to resolve the crisis amicably.

“This withdrawal signifies the beginning of healing for the community of Okuama. Our residents can now focus on rebuilding their lives and homes in peace,” he said.

The governor also thanked various national leaders, including members of the National Assembly and traditional rulers, for their support during the ordeal.

The state government has taken proactive steps to support the displaced residents of Okuama.

An Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp has been established in Ewu to aid the transition back to normal life, with the state committed to providing necessary assistance for resettlement.

Governor Oborevwori concluded his briefing with a hopeful note, emphasizing the state’s dedication to maintaining peace and security under his administration’s MORE agenda.

“We are fully committed to ensuring that such tragedies do not recur. Security is a shared responsibility, and we count on everyone’s cooperation to keep our state safe and peaceful,” he added.

While the community breathes a sigh of relief with the lifting of the military siege, the focus now shifts to recovery and preventing future conflicts that could lead to similar outcomes.

Efforts to reach the 63 Brigade‘s public relations officer, Major Onoja, for additional comments were unsuccessful at the time of this report.

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