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Reprisal: Oborevwori Meets Tinubu, Rules Out Further Attacks, Says Situation Under Control

OSAS EMMANUEL 

ABUJA, Nigeria – Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, yesterday met with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief him on the gruesome murder of the 16 soldiers and officers in Okuoma community.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the President, Governor Oborevwori ruled out the possibility of further reprisals in the respective communities involved.

This is as he assured that the state is managing the tension occasioned by the alleged reprisal attacks over the killing of 16 soldiers and officers in Okuoma, Delta State. 

Although he declined to confirm the report of reprisal attacks allegedly carried out by the military and the number of casualties, he said that he met with the security heads in Bomadi on Monday but has been unable to meet with the community involved because the place of the incident is completely deserted.

“You know the happenings in Delta State since 14th of this month and it is necessary for me to brief the Commander-in-Chief and that’s what I’ve come to do, the full details of what happened. 

“People may not have knowledge of what we’re doing since I came on board. Since last year, we’ve been enjoying peace in Delta State and we commend all the security agencies, but an unfortunate thing happened last week that people who don’t have the knowledge have started talking

“The two communities in question have been having issue for years and last month, on the 7th of February, they were invited by the state government; the two communities, the members representing those two local governments, the council chairmen and the leaders of those communities, and they agreed to work together, signed peace accord. 

“When this unfortunate thing happened, it was very sad because Delta State is governed within the tenets of the rule of law and decency. So what happened is not in line with what we’re doing in Delta State because I have promised Deltans that I’m going to be governor for all Deltans and we’ve been enjoying peace and one of my MORE Agenda is that we’ll enhance peace and security, and that’s what we’ve been doing. 

“So I decided to come here to brief Mr. President on all the things we’ve been doing to maintain peace and Mr President has assured me that he’s in support of the peace and we both condemned the killing of the officers and the soldiers because they were there on peace mission. 

“What is happening now is something that we did not bargain for, but we want to assure everybody that there’ll be no more attacks on the villages, if there’s been anyone that had happened in the past… but we know that those who are culpable will be brought to book, but the innocent citizens will not be attacked.” Oborevwori said

Asked to comment on the alleged reprisal attack even though the military has denied any involvement and as well provide information as to what exactly is going on in Okuoma and those behind the burning down of the village, he said that the issue is a security matter which should not be discussed publicly.

“When something happens like this, it’s always easy to manage tension. Yesterday (Monday), I was in that local government, I was in Bomadi for security meeting, to get full details and briefing. 

“So some of those issues are security issues that you can’t say publicly, that’s the truth, and we’re managing the situation. So the issue of whether a place has been burned down or people have been killed, it has happened, but what is the way forward?

“The way forward are two ways; the people that have been killed, the officers and soldiers, we must see how we can find succor for their families and give them a befitting burial. Also the community, anything that has happened in the community in the past will not happen again, we assure them, but the people who are culpable will be brought book.

“Like I said, we’re still on it, by the time I get back, I’ll get more details.”

Fielding questions on whether he has been able to meet with the community to ascertain the number of casualties recorded in the attack and the alleged reprisal, he said, “First and foremost, the community people… the place has been deserted, so the issue of whether we’ve been able to see the community leaders, no. 

“We’ve only gotten full briefing from the Army and we’re on it because this week the traditional council is going to meet and discuss. I’m going to invite stakeholders, we’re on top of it.” He said

Further asked to give the number of people that were reported dead when he met with the military on Monday, he said, “You know the terrain of that place, the Okuama terrain, you must go by boat. Where I visited was Bomadi.”

He further explained, “Like I said, we had a meeting yesterday with the security heads where the General Officer Commanding of 6 Division was there, the JTF Commander was in attendance. We’ve all agreed, all the security agencies are putting heads together, we’re on the same page to fish out the real culprits because innocent people will not suffer for it and they have assured us that no innocent person will be victimised.”

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