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NDDC Condemns Okuama Killing of Soldiers, Harps on Peace in Niger Delta


By Ukandi Christopher

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has condemned the gruesome murder of soldiers in Okuama, Delta State while on a mission to quell land dispute between Okoloba and Okuama which blew out of control.
The NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, made the condemnation when he led a delegation from the Commission to pay a condolence visit to the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam at the 6 Division headquarters in Port Harcourt, Thursday.
Ogbuku, who was accompanied by the NDDC Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Alabo Boma Iyaye; the Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai and other directors of the Commission, said the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuoma, Ugheli South Local Government Area of Delta State has
shattered the peace in the region.
While commiserating with the army, he called for concerted efforts and support for the military and other security agencies to ensure that peace reigns in the Niger Delta region for development to thrive.
“The commission condemned the killings and we expressed our condolences and on behalf of the NDDC Governing Board to the families of the slain military personnel and the Armed Forces family. The NDDC would continue to support the military and other law enforcement agencies in their mission to maintain peace in the Niger Delta region, noting that development could only take place in an atmosphere of peace and security.” He stated.
Declaring, the Managing Director said: “Development and security are intertwined. Without security, there will be no development.”

“We felt it was necessary to come to commiserate and grieve with the army. This incidence is an aberration that does not define the people of the region. We condemn it in its entirety;

“The Niger Delta is the bedrock of the Nigerian economy, so it is imperative that there is peace in the region. We appeal to our people to be calm and support the Nigerian Army to fish out the perpetrators of the crime so that justice can be served;

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you, the families of the fallen heroes, and the entire armed forces. The NDDC is willing to assist in supporting the families of those that lost their lives.” He stated.

Ogbuku, however, called on the military to observe the rules of engagement while undertaking their investigations in order to protect the lives of innocent members of the community.

Reacting to a request from the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, for the completion of the NDDC jetty project in Warri, Ogbuku assured that work would commence soon, as the project had been re-assigned to another contractor.

In his remarks, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam, noted that the development of the Niger Delta region could only take place when peace and security were guaranteed.

He lamented that the country had lost some of its gallant soldiers, noting that the killing of the men in military uniform was an assault on the Nigerian nation.

The GOC stated that the military would not rest until the perpetrators of the crime were apprehended and brought to justice. He declared: “We will be fair, firm, decisive and professional. We will be in the area until we achieve the objective of apprehending the criminals and recovering our arms.

Abdussalam appealed to the people in the communities to assist the army with information to help fish out the culprits and recover all the missing arms.


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