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17 SOLDIERS: CHILLING DISCOVERIES AT OKUAMA

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17 SOLDIERS: CHILLING DISCOVERIES AT OKUAMA

By: Zagazola Makama

Since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu vowed to ensure justice on the brutal killing of 17 soldiers at Okuama community, Ughelli Local Government Area, Delta State, and his consequent matching order to the Nigerian Army to thoroughly investigate and fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act, facts revealed by every passing day firmly point at the entire community as complicit, not just the group of militants who actually carried out the execution.

In response to the President’s directives, the military high command ordered the extension of the search for suspected killers of the 17 soldiers in the Okuama community. Before the Operation, leaders of the community alleged that soldiers had begun targeting innocent civilians in the community rather than going after the miscreants who committed the crime.

Further searches fan across the community and sink deeper into the affairs and proclivities of its residents have revealed, with firmer confirmation, that the entire Okuama, from its traditional and community leaders and other elites down to the lowest residents in socioeconomic and political status is a community of militants thriving on terror.

But even before the Operation to find the culprit began, leaders of the community had orchestrated an allegation in the media that soldiers were targeting innocent civilians in the community rather than going after the miscreants who committed the crime. This move which some observers saw as being contrived to cast the military in bad light and to demonize its operation, did not deter them from going after the killers of the soldiers and masterminds of the crime.

Military investigations, which have, all through, been conducted in the finest and most-careful fashion to guard against incriminating innocent citizens, according to the presidential directive, findings have been revealing the most-chilling set up of Okuama and its surrounding communities.

First, all expressions of sympathy and commiseration by the traditional rulers, tending to exonerate themselves from the act, as well as their commitment to aid the military in the search for the perpetrators, are all feigned. The wider the search, and the deeper the investigation, the more glaring the complicity of the community’s elites and traditional rulers.

Second, and most-chilling, the deeper the military’s search across the community to disarm the residents, in compliance with directives, the more it is discovered that the entire community is sitting on an expansive cache of arms, which the youthful militants deploy to unleash terror on the behest and command of their elders and elites.

On April 10, 2024, troops of 63 Brigade conducted a raid/ cordon and search operations at Olota Community of Ugheli South LGA of Delta State confirming all these facts about Okuama and its surrounding communities with regard to their stockpile of arms for terror activities.

During the Search of the residence of one Mr Kenneth, who escaped on sighting the troops, the team discovered one G3 rifle, 853 rounds of 7.62 MM Nato and 19 rounds of 7.62 Special MM.

A further search of other locations within the community led to the discovery of 4 G3 rifles and Magazines, one pump action gun and 3 Sub Machine Guns, Magazines and 476 carriages. Additionally, the troops recovered 5 dane guns and one big plastic containing substances suspected to be Carbis satin.

Armed with robust intelligence effort, the military were said to have stormed a number of hideouts and homes of individuals suspected to be complicit in the heinous crime. The operations, however, paid off with the arrest of three leaders of the Olota community in Ugheli South LGA of the state.

The arrest of the three identified individuals followed a painstaking effort of the military to track down the masterminds and killers of the soldiers. The manhunt of the perpetrators has compelled the military to look beyond Okuama community as they are said to have extended their dragnet to surrounding communities and across the creeks of the Niger Delta region where they suspect that the killers might be hiding.

The troops are also in search of weapons which they believe are stockpiled in many homes within the general area.

One Intelligence source who spoke to Zagazola Makama, said the communities where the troops have conducted searches were full of weapons and the directive handed over to the troops was to mop up the arms and ammunition and disarm the communities.

According to him, the troops will not relent until that particular order has been carried out to the letter. He said the domination of the general area is in progress while the search for weapons belonging to the slain military personnel and culprits in the dastardly act continues. “All these communities have what they call, ‘community weapons’ ‘ which they use to cause havoc here”, he said.

Recall that on the 14th day of March, Lt. Colonel A. H. Ali, the Commanding Officer of 181 Amphibious Battalion, led three other officers and 13 soldiers to the Okuama Community to mediate in the lingering dispute with Okoloba Community, and were killed by members of the Okuama community.

They went as peacemakers and peacekeepers, respectfully seeking to bring an end to the hostilities between the two communities. They did not go with tanks, machine guns, and other weapons. They were on a mission for peace.

*Zagazola Makama, is a Counter Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst in the Lake Chad region

17 SOLDIERS: CHILLING DISCOVERIES AT OKUAMA

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

By: Yahaya Wakili

Gadodomasun Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, has appealed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene in the construction of the Potiskum modern market.

“I will not forget the first tenure of His Excellency. During his campaign, we went round all of Yobe State, rural and urban, and he made promises to the people of Potiskum town, a modern market, because Potiskum is a center of commercial business in Yobe State. And by the grace of God, His Excellency has fulfilled his campaign promises.

Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, who is also the former chairman of the NARTO Potiskum local government chapter, made the call in Potiskum while speaking to Newsmen on the one year of the second tenure of His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON.

Abdullahi Garba Alele further said that His Excellency Governor Buni laid the foundation stone for the construction of modern markets in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Geidam, and Buni Yadi, and by the grace of God, all these modern markets have been completed and commissioning, and people have occupied them and businesses have raked off inside.

“But our own for Potiskum town, which has the longest history in business with a high population of people, businessmen, and farmers, but up to now this modern market has not been completed, the work has stopped as a result of what we don’t know, the contractor has abandoned the work. Therefore, we use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene and call on contractors to resume work on site.” Alele said.

The former NARTO chairman said that in the history of Potiskum, God blessed Potiskum with transports, because in the 774 local government councils that we have in the country, there is no local government that has transporters like Potiskum. We thank God, and we thank His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni for considering this thing critically. He constructed us a trailer park in Potiskum, and we thank him a lot.

“But I am assured to His Excellency that this project has stopped. Therefore, we appeal to His Excellency to intervene in this matter to complete these two projects before the end of his three years in office, so that people can benefit from this development. He prayed to Almighty Allah, and as His Excellency completed his five years successfully, we also prayed to Almighty Allah to guide and help him complete the remaining three years successfully.

Gadodomasun also commands His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, and Chairman Yobe State Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa CFR, in his efforts to unite the people and the traditional rulers in Yobe State, and also prays to Almighty Allah (SWT) to give him health. He also prays to Almighty Allah to long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, long live Yobe State, and long live Potiskum local government.

Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Yobe North Senatorial District, has today met with the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, MON, and his team to discuss the implementation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by him on his official page, which was made available to newsmen in Damaturu,.

The DICON Act, which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in November 2023, is a major step towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce their own equipment and reduce dependence on imports.

During the meeting, the minister of state for defense briefed me on the progress made so far on the implementation of the DICON Act.

“I commended the minister, members of his team, and other stakeholders present for the swift action taken to implement the DICON Act. I emphasized the urgent need to make DICON a catalyst for the industrialization of the defense sector in Nigeria.

The President of the 9th Senate pledged that the Senate Committee on Defense, which I chair, will continue to provide legislative support and oversight to ensure the successful implementation of the DICON Act. We believe that a vibrant and self-sustaining defense industry is essential for the security and prosperity of our nation.

Senator Ahmed Lawan also seized the opportunity to inform the minister and his team that the Senate Committee on Defense will embark on a familiarization tour of the ministry next week.

He urged the minister to leverage the expertise of Nigerian engineers, scientists, and manufacturers in the development of indigenous weapons and equipment. This will not only boost our national pride but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The DICON Act has the potential to transform the defense sector in Nigeria. By working together—the Senate, the Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders—we can make this transformation a reality.

Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

By: Michael Mike

A delegation, to be led by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in UK, will visit the Management of Teesside University to intervene on the allegations of unfair and unjust deportation order served on some Nigerian students, in the middle of their studies .

The decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting held between Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Representative of the Nigerian High Commission UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, President, Nigerian Students Union UK, Mr Yemi Soile, and many of the affected students at the meeting on Sunday.

The affected students passionately narrated their ordeal and were optimistic of a positive intervention.

During the meeting , Chairman NIDCOM appealed to the students to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while appealing to the University to treat the students with justice and fairness. Ambassador Okeke spoke in the same vein.

On May 22, some students of Teesside University from Nigeria staged a protest following the directives by the University authorities for them to leave UK on the allegations that some of the students defaulted in paying their school fees.

FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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