Army accuses Okuama community of resorting to media propaganda

The Nigerian Army has accused Okuama Community in Delta of “resorting to media propaganda and shenanigans to divert attention from the gruesome killing of 16 officers and soldiers”.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Monday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said that rather than engage in a positive effort to fish out perpetrators of the heinous crime, the community has resorted to propaganda against the Nigerian military.

This, according to him, is a clear indication that the murder of the troops was a communally orchestrated attack against legitimate forces.

He said that the falsehood being peddled by the criminals and their cohorts to whip up sentiments and sway public opinion clearly indicated that the community endorsed and  supported the outrageous criminal act.

“It is only a ridiculous attempt at justifying their crime, rather than turn in themselves to security agencies.

“There is no amount of propaganda that would arm-twist the narrative; they are complicit and must be ready to face the wrath of the law.

“While law-abiding citizens are assured that there will be no reprisal on the part of the troops, we enjoin all to go about their normal activities, even as ongoing efforts are scaled up to positively identify and isolate the criminals to account for their atrocious deeds,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that troops of 181 Amphibious Battalion comprising one Lt. Colonel, two Majors, one Captain and 12 Soldiers were killed while on a mediation mission to the community.

Nwachukwu said the troops, who were out there for peace and to secure the lives and property of people in the Niger Delta, were murdered in the most  gruesome, heartless and cruel manner and their remains debased.

“Regrettably, the community complicit in this dastardly act has resorted to media propaganda and shenanigans, rather than engage in a positive effort to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”

Nwachukwu said the Chief of Army of Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Toareed Lagbaja, has commiserated with the families of the officers and soldiers who lost their lives.

He said the COAS  had directed that the perpetrators of the gruesome acts must be  apprehended to face the full wrath of the law.

“Troops are determined to get to these criminals; there is certainly no hiding place for them,” he added.

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