Okuoma Killing: Oborevwori Cautions Traditional Rulers Against Shielding Suspects 

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Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Thursday, cautioned traditional rulers in the state against shielding suspects involved in the killing of four military officers and thirteen soldiers in Okuama community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Oborevwori gave the warning when he addressed traditional rulers, on the unfortunate incident at the State Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat in Asaba.

The Governor who said that the act was alien to the state, described it as barbaric, inhumane and unacceptable and vowed that those who committed the evil act must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said no kingdom should shield the perpetrators of the dastardly act, adding that Delta was governed within the tenets of the rule of law and human decency.

Oborevwori said; “On the 7th of February, we summoned the people of Okoloba and Okuoma communities in Bomadi and Ughelli South Local Government Areas including the members representing the two constituencies in the State House of Assembly, the Council Chairmen and their Presidents-General where we advised them that a lot has been happening in their area and they signed a peace accord.

“The killing of these Army Officers and soldiers came as a rude shock to us and when this thing happened, I immediately called the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Army Staff because I was in Abuja. I came back and issued a press statement.

“On Monday, I went to Bomadi to meet with all the security chiefs, where we had our security council meeting and I got briefings from the Brigade Commander. In attendance was the G.O.C 6 Division Nigeria Army, Maj Gen Jamil Abdussalam and the JTF Commander, Real Admiral John Okeke.

“After the meeting, I went to Abuja to meet with Mr. President to brief him on what happened. I also went to see the Chief of Army Staff to discuss with him. I also meet with the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police.

“I felt that it is also proper that I brief you people even though you may be aware. Those people who committed that evil act must face the wrath of the law. No kingdom should shield those criminals because Delta state is governed by the tenets of the law and human decency.

“We cannot tolerate that. It has never happened in this state; to kill one Lt. Colonel, two Majors, one Captain and 13 Soldiers. We need to fish out those involved.

“Do not hide or shield anybody. The Chief of Army Staff and Mr. President have assured me that innocent people will not be victimised; unless you conive with the killers of the soldiers.

“I have briefed you and make sure that you fish them out from your kingdoms. If any traditional ruler shields a criminal, that traditional ruler is inviting trouble.

“We did not bargain for this evil act but for peace, I don’t want crisis. I have also received information that two other villages are boiling to fight, they should not fight, we want peace in all our communities.

“What are they fighting for? I have promised you people that I am going to do more for Deltans, so what are they fighting for? All of us are Deltans and we want development.

“For the first time almost two decades, we had peace in Warri in December and people celebrated in peace. Now we have communal crisis, why?

“I condemn it and it’s unacceptable. So please my dear royal fathers let us be on the same page to fish out these people. Don’t allow anybody who committed this evil act to come to your kingdoms and bring problem to your community.

“Tell us and we will hand them over to security agencies. You should not play politics with this. Don’t say that the Army have taken over your village because they cannot just come to your village without getting information. But I assure you people that no innocent person will be victimised.

“Tell your people not to encourage crisis because if you do, you cannot come out of it. Some people don’t have knowledge of what is happening and they start talking. What I did was to go and brief the Commander in Chief and later granted the State House Correspondents interview.”

Responding, Chairman Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Maj. Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, (retd), said that they were on same page with the Governor to ensure peace and security in the state.

While saying that the security of various kingdoms would dovetail to the security of the state and the nation, he called for a judicial panel of enquiry to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the crisis.

In a related development, Governor Oborevwori also briefed the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council where he urged them to talk to the people on the need to maintain peace across state.

He said government would not allow trouble makers to dissuade investors from coming to invest in the state, adding that sustainable peace was needed to attract investors to the state.

Chairman of the Council, Professor Sam Oyovbaire commended the Governor for his efforts at ensuring peace and security across the state, stressing that Council members support the peace building moves of the Governor.

He, therefore, appealed to communities across the state to give peace a chance for the overall growth and development of the state.

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