Killing Of 17 Soldiers: Group Warns Okuama People To Stay Away From IDP Camp, Lambasts Tinubu Over Military Atrocities Against Residents


The Global Coalition for Security & Democracy in Nigeria (GCSDN) has cautioned the Urhobo people of Okuama community in Delta State against seeking refuge in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp established by the Nigerian government at Ewu Grammar School. In an open letter signed by its Global Coordinator, Comrade Frederick Odorige, the GCSDN criticized the administration of President Bola Tinubu, accusing it of neglecting Urhobo lives.

The letter condemned the killing of 17 Nigerian soldiers in Okuama on March 14, 2024, and lamented the subsequent reprisal attack by the Nigerian army on innocent civilians. According to the GCSDN, the army’s actions resulted in the deaths of at least 100 civilians, with additional casualties due to hunger and disease among those who fled to the forest. Hundreds of houses were reportedly destroyed, leaving many homeless.

Despite statements from the Chief of Defense Staff acknowledging knowledge of the perpetrators, the GCSDN questioned why innocent civilians were targeted instead of apprehending the actual culprits. The organization accused the APC government, led by Tinubu, of disregarding Urhobo lives and allowing atrocities to occur with impunity.

The letter also highlighted attacks on journalists and media houses during Tinubu’s administration, suggesting a pattern of suppression of dissenting voices. Odorige raised concerns about the complicity of Tinubu’s wife, who hails from the Itsekiri ethnic group, questioning whether similar violence would be tolerated in her community.

The GCSDN announced its intention to pursue legal action against those responsible for the Okuama massacre, indicating that the case had been brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Additionally, they called on the Delta State government to conduct thorough investigations to locate and properly bury the victims.

However, the organization advised against residing in the IDP camps, citing concerns about safety and potential for further violence. They urged the government to compensate Okuama residents for the destruction of their homes and prioritize providing financial assistance for housing and livelihoods over establishing temporary camps.

In light of historical instances of military violence against civilians, such as the massacre in Asaba during the Nigerian civil war, the GCSDN warned against congregating in large groups that could make them vulnerable targets. They emphasized the importance of holding the government accountable for its actions and ensuring justice for the victims of the Okuama tragedy.

In summary, the GCSDN’s letter condemns the Okuama massacre, criticizes the government’s response, and calls for accountability, compensation, and proactive measures to support affected communities.

Sahara Reporters

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