Okuama: Elders, community leaders have obligation to expose culprits – DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Abuja has urged elders ànd community leaders of Okuama, in Delta state to expose all those involved in the gruesome killing of military personnel.

The Director of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) Maj-Gen Edward Buba who stated this on Thursday noted that the armed forces is  bent on sustaining the winning ways of “our operational engagements as demonstrated with the recent rescue of 16  and 137  hostages  in Sokoto and Kaduna States, respectively. 

Buba stated that the rescue of these hostages is indicative of a better understanding of the dynamics of what “we are dealing with ,and to address the issue in a much safer manner”.

He pointed out that the rescue operations was based on collaboration between the military  working with local authorities and government agencies across the country, in a coordinated approach. 

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“The success demonstrates the  unwavering commitment of the armed forces to secure and protect the citizens against harm and acts of terror.

“The pressure of military operations created a significant level of distress both for the terrorist and the children. Given the situation, troops  line of interest was the children. The level of  distressed created by the children was sufficient enough for troops to exploit in their rescue. Additionally, cursory operations in the general areas  by troops culminated in the neutralization of several terrorist leaders and commanders in OP HADARIN DAJI theatre of operation. 

“On the flip side, 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. The armed forces is a force for stability that employs both kinetic and non-kinetic measures to achieve the desired end state. 

“Prior to the ugly incident, the military had constructed several civic projects in Delta State as a sign of good will. For instance, the construction of Multipurpose Hall and Borehole Projects in Patani LGA and Medical Outreach at Aladja Community in Udu LGA all in Delta State, among several others. Needless to mention, the elders and community leaders have an obligation to expose these wanted persons,” he stated.

Gen. Buba added,”Nevertheless, troops  would continue with their efforts  until the culprits are found ,arrested, tried, and brought to justice by Nigerian law. 

“The banner of eight wanted persons involved with the killing including a woman is hereby released. Accordingly, it is necessary to state that citizens are our first line of intelligence and must rise to the occasion in honour of their nation.”

He revealed that in the past one week troops killed 212 and arrested 252 persons, among others.

He stated,”Meanwhile, during the week under review. Troops neutralised  212 and arrested 252 persons. Troops also arrested 29 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 244 kidnapped hostages. In the SS, 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 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. 

“Others are: 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, 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.

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

He added,”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. 

“Troops would also continue to elimination 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.”

By Chimezie Godfrey 

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