'They Are Not Made to Make Peace' — Niger Delta Leaders Demand Withdrawal of Soldiers in Okuama

‘They Are Not Made to Make Peace’ — Niger Delta Leaders Demand Withdrawal of Soldiers in Okuama

by Victor Ndubuisi

The Okuama community, situated in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, is currently experiencing a crisis that has drawn the attention of stakeholders and authorities from throughout the Niger Delta region.

The terrible deaths of 17 military members set off the unrest, and a quick military response led to a siege of the community and mass relocation.

A wide range of voices, including activists, clergy, former security guards, and traditional rulers, have joined forces to call on the federal government to act decisively in response to the rising tensions.

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Wing Commander P.Y. Biakpara, a retired Air Force officer, voiced his dismay at the state of affairs, stressing the need to follow the rules of engagement and admonishing against the reckless use of force.


Biakpara stated, “I am a military man and there are rules of engagement. Things start from the police and it is only when the situation goes beyond the police that the army is rarely called upon.

“If there is any small issue, one person will run to the army checkpoint and soldiers will go there, nonsense! That means our army has nothing to do!

“I am not happy about what happened at Okuama and I sympathize with the families of the lost heroes, as well as innocent civilian lives lost in this issue. I’m not happy about the whole thing.

“The government should be well advised that they should not use the military in this wrong way, they are using the military very, very carelessly.

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“The military is not made to make peace, and even if they make peace, they will kill people to make that peace.”

HRM (Barr) Shadrach Peremobowei Erebulu, Aduo III, the Pere (traditional ruler) of Kabowei Kingdom in Patani Local Government Area, reiterated the view and urged the military to use caution in their operations so as not to injure innocent citizens.


He issued a warning against taking any acts that would heighten tensions and spark more violence, but he also underlined the significance of conducting a thorough investigation to find and capture the offenders.

The traditional ruler articulated, “To the military, I urge them to employ their tactics in investigating and fishing out these persons. I know the military has a way they go about things, their intelligence. In doing that, let them be wary of attacking or hurting innocent persons because at times like this, you may not know the perpetrators.

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“If innocent persons are affected, it turns the whole ball around, so they should not cause more problems in the communities,” he added.


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