The Nigerian Army says it is hell bent on fishing out the killers of 16 of its officers and men in the creeks of Delta State and will not leave the location until the mission is accomplished.

A Nigerian Army Lt.Colonel, two majors, one captain and 12 other soldiers reportedly on a peace mission in the area of the Okuama and Okoloba communities in Delta State were reportedly ambushed and killed, allegedly by local youths on Thursday, March 14.
Both communities are in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Locals have fled their homes for fear of reprisal attacks impacting innocents.

Major General Jamal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component, Joint Task Force, South-South, Operation Delta State, assured leaders of the Niger Delta region that troops will be professional in ggoing after the culprits.

“The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force, South South, Operation DELTA STATE, Major General Jamal Abdussalam has assured that troops conducting operations over the gruesome murder of officers and soldiers at Okuama Community in Ughelli South LGA would be firm, strong, decisive and professional in the cause of the operations in the general area,” the Nigerian Army said in a Thursday statement.

“He made this known when the Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief (Dr) Samuel Ogbuku paid him a condolence visit at the Division’s Headquarters in Port Harcourt Barracks today, 21 March 2024.

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“Major General Abdussalam, while appreciating the MD and his team for the visit, said the mission handed to troops by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja is basically to recover the weapons carted away by the perpetrators of this heinous crime and ensure that all those involved are arrested. He further added that troops will continue to be in the creeks until these objectives are achieved.”

Abdussalam further reiterated that no amount of propaganda, arm-twisting, blackmailing, intimidation, and false narratives would distract troops from staying on course to achieve their objectives.

He, however, assured that the operations would be conducted in the most professional manner in line with the global best practice of adherence to rules of engagement and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry. He called on people of the Niger Delta Region(NDR) to go about their normal activities.

He appealed to people and communities to assist troops regarding the location of the fleeing criminals and the carted away weapons. The Armed Forces of Nigeria, he averred is the symbol of our sovereignty, stressing that the Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu captured it succinctly when he said an attack on our Armed Forces is an attack on our nation.

“Therefore, if we allow criminals to continue to attack our security forces , there will be anarchy, the GOC said.
Major General Abdussalam further said troops would not rest until all those involved are tracked down to account for their deeds. He reassured that the operation is being conducted in such a way that, going forward, nobody would contemplate attacking men in uniform.
He also said false narratives being churned out, and propaganda peddled over this mindless criminality would not deter troops from fishing out the criminals.

The GOC appreciated the MD and his team for identifying with the NA at this moment of grief. He added that there would not be development without peace and security. Thus, the two institutions would continue to work together for the common good of society. He called on well-meaning members of the society to avail the Army with credible intelligence on where to get the criminals and ensure they answer for their crimes.