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Killings: Okuama women, children trapped in forests for 6 days


OkuamaBy Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Henry Umoru, Dapo Akinrefon, Sam Oyadongha, Victor Ahiuma Young, Sunday Chancel & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

BOMADI—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.

Vanguard 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.

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