Okuama killing: Defence Headquarters releases names of 8 suspects

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Defence Headquarters  has released names of eight persons suspected to be involved in the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuama, Delta State.

This is contained in a statement by the Director,  Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba in Abuja on Thursday.

He said  troops  would continue with the effort until the culprits were “found, arrested, tried and brought to justice by Nigerian law.”

“The elders and community leaders have an obligation to expose these wanted persons.

“It is necessary to state that citizens are our first line of intelligence and must rise to the occasion in honour of their nation

“We must never allow the incident that occurred in Delta State that led to the killing of  17 soldiers that were  buried on 27 March 2024 to ever happen again,”he said.

The director further said, “the armed forces is a force for stability that employs both kinetic and non kinetic measures to achieve the desired result.”

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According to the director,  the military, prior to the incident, constructed several projects in Delta State as a sign of goodwill.

He said the projects included  construction of a Multipurpose Hall and Borehole in Patani Local Government Area.

He added that there was also a Medical Outreach at Aladja Community in Udu Local Government Area also in Delta State, among others.

On operations carried out within the week under review, Buba, said troops neutralised  212 persons and arrested 252.

He further said that troops also arrested 29 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 244 kidnapped hostages.

“In the South South, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of One Billion Fifty Million Seven and Fifteen Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Naira (N1,050,715,260.00) only.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 223 assorted weapons and 2,756 assorted ammunition.

“The breakdown is as follows: 3 M56 rifles, 115 AK47 rifles, 3 PKT gun, 24 locally fabricated gun, 36 dane guns, 7 locally fabricated pistols, one fabricated revolver pistol, 3 locally made single barrel guns, 2 hand grenades and one locally made explosive.”

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He said others were; 1,716 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 494 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 60 rounds of 7.62 x 25mm ammo, 290 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm ammo, 81 rounds of 9mm ammo.

He further said, “2 live cartridges, 16 magazines, 3 M56 rifles magazines, one HH radio, 5 vehicles, 14 motorcycles, 15 mobile phones and the sum of N857,960.00 amongst other items,” were recovered.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 102 dugout pits, 41 boats, 36 storage tanks and 8 vehicles.

“Other items recovered include 39 cooking ovens, 6 pumping machines and 61 illegal refining sites.

“Troops recovered 944,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 171,060 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,500 litres of DPK.

The Military Spokesperson said, “the foregoing indicates that troops are weathering the storm through offensive posture and improved understanding of modus operandi of the adversary.

“Accordingly,  we are doing our best to rescue other hostages in terrorist captivity.

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“Troops would also continue to eliminate threats posed by these terrorist and their cohorts.

“However, citizens should remember that they are our first line of intelligence.

“Therefore, as citizens, we have a collective responsibility of doing right.

Buba said, the armed forces was bent on sustaining its operational engagements as demonstrated with the recent rescue of 16  and 137  hostages  in Sokoto and Kaduna States.

According to him, the rescue of the hostages is indicative of a better understanding of the dynamics of what they  were dealing with.

He stressed that the successes recorded,  demonstrated the  unwavering commitment of the military in securing and protecting citizens against harm and acts of terror.

The director further said that, “cursory operations in the general areas  by troops culminated in the neutralisation of several terrorist leaders and commanders in Operation Hadarin Daji theatre of operation.”

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