Soldiers Killing: Okuama Women, Children Trapped In Forest For 6 Days


Hundreds of women and children of Okuama community, Ewu Kingdom, in Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, who fled for dear lives when troops of the Nigerian Army invaded the community over the killing of 17 soldiers last Friday have been stranded for six days without food in the forests.

This came as Delta State governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, yesterday cautioned traditional rulers in the state against shielding suspects involved in the killing of soldiers in Okuama community.

This is even as governors of the 36 states of the federation flayed the killing of the military personnel, restating their demand for state police.

Also, former Minister of Communications, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju, retd, yesterday warned that the killing of the military personnel might signal a new build-up of community warfare that could snowball into a bigger conflict in the region if not addressed.

Similarly, former Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mike Ejiofor, said an independent probe of the killing could indict some very important personalities, VIPs.

Starvation in Igbomotoru

However, in the coastal town of Igbomotoru in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, the siege laid by troops for the manhunt for a militant leader suspected to have masterminded the killings, is pushing the community towards starvation that could trigger a humanitarian crisis if it persists.

Days ago, Okuama women cried out that they fled into the forests when soldiers allegedly opened fire on villagers in the town hall after the community refused their attempt to take away the community leaders.

As of yesterday, Okuama was out of bounds as only the military could go in and out of the town as the place is deserted.

Even the state governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, confirmed he could not visit the place because of the situation.

It was learned that the neighboring communities to Okuama refused to take in fleeing residents from Okuama as refugees in their homelands because of fear of persecution by soldiers who come around searching for perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Because of how they escaped into the forests, the women could not take food items with them, and haven’t been able to return to the community as soldiers have taken over the town.

One indigene of a neighbouring community in Ewu Kingdom said the situation of the victims of the military onslaught at Okuama is pitiable.

“Hunger is taking a toll on them, especially the children they are carrying. This is a humanitarian crisis, and the government has to open a refugee camp for these people and provide them with food.

“Soldiers molest innocent people in neighbouring communities of Okuama in Ughelli South Local Government Area. As I am speaking with you, soldiers are still at Orere community in Ewu kingdom in search of the perpetrators, molesting innocent people.

“The fact is that neighboring communities in the Ewu Kingdom are not receiving fleeing indigenes of Okuama who are mostly women and children, for fear of harassment and molestation by the military.

“As we speak, neighboring communities are living in fear because the military is using drones to watch over all communities,’’ the local said.

A resident of Orere community said people in neighbouring communities are having sleepless nights over the presence of soldiers in their domain.

“We are having sleepless nights over what happened at Okuama because the military is after the perpetrators fleeing from the scene of the incident. To be candid, nobody is happy over what happened to the soldiers at Okuama.

“But, the issue has degenerated, and we are all affected. They would come to your community, brutalizing innocent people.

“I want to use this medium to call on the Federal Government to consider setting up refugee camps for women and children displaced from Okuama community, who nobody wants to accommodate because of fear of the rampaging soldiers in neighbouring communities.

“This is a clarion call on the Federal Government to save these victims. The government should set up internally displaced persons, IDP, camps to accommodate these vulnerable victims so they can be identified and avoid the harassment of neighbouring communities.

“I want to conclude by saying that nobody supports the killing of soldiers at Okuama, and the Feder



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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