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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Governor announces withdrawal of Nigerian military troops from Delta community

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The Nigerian military has “completely” withdrawn its personnel from Okuama Community in Delta State, South-south Nigeria, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State has said.

Mr Oborevwori disclosed this in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

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The military personnel had occupied Okuama Community after suspected residents, on 14 March, ambushed and murdered the Commanding Officer of 181 Army Amphibious Battalion, two majors, one captain and 13 soldiers.

The troops were ambushed while responding to a distress call arising from a clash between Okuama and Okoloba communities in the South-southern state.

Residents of the community had complained that they were forced out of their community following the soldiers’ occupation.

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Withdrawal

Mr Oborevwori, in the Facebook post, said the withdrawal of the soldiers followed his administration’s deliberations and collaborations with the leadership of the Nigerian military.

“My Dear Good People of Delta State, I have the pleasure to announce to you that upon many deliberations and collaborations between the (Delta) State Government and the military leadership, the Nigerian army has agreed to withdraw its officers and men from Okuama,” the governor said.

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“I spoke with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja on Monday, 6th of May, and as of today, 8 of May, 2024, the military has withdrawn from Okuama,” he added.

The governor said, with the withdrawal of the soldiers, residents of Okuama Community can now “safely return to their homes and begin the process of reintegration and rebuilding their homes.”

Oborevwori hails Tinubu, Nigerian military

Mr Oborevwori commended President Bola Tinubu, the chief of army staff and the leadership of the military “for their understanding and cooperation.”

“In my engagements with them, they demonstrated the highest level of concern and care for the plight of the displaced persons. To God be the glory that we have achieved an amicable resolution,” he said.

The governor also praised members of the National Assembly and traditional rulers from Delta State for standing by the people of the state during the “travails”.

“Let me assure all Deltans and residents in the state that this administration is irrevocably committed to enhanced peace and security in the state,” he said.

He assured that his administration would assist to make the return of residents to the community smooth and seamless, adding that plans are underway to rehabilitate them.

“After a personal assessment of the community on 20th of April, 2024, we have since commenced setting up an Internally Displaced Persons camp at Ewu to serve as a transition to aid their rehabilitation.

“We shall render all the necessary assistance they need to enable them to settle down quickly and joyfully in Okuama,” the governor stated.

‘Never again’

Mr Oborevwori prayed that the state would never again experience the tragedy that happened in Okuama Community.

“Security, as we all know, is a shared responsibility. So, we will continue to count on the support and cooperation of every citizen to ensure that our state remains safe and peaceful,” he said.

The Nigerian military is yet to officially comment on the development.

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