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Oborevwori warns traditional rulers not to hide suspects

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Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Orohwedor Oborevwori

Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori advised kingdoms and traditional rulers on Thursday not to hide or conceal anyone implicated in the assassination of four military officers and 13 soldiers in Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area.

The governor warned that those who committed the heinous deed would face the full wrath of the law, emphasizing that “we need to fish out those involved.”.

Oborevwori issued the warning while addressing traditional rulers at the State Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat in Asaba. He termed the attack on military men as cruel, inhumane, and unacceptable.

He stated that the Chief of Army Staff and the President had assured him “that innocent people will not be victimized unless you connive with the killers of the soldiers.”

He emphasized that the act was alien to the state, maintaining that the state was governed within the tenets of the rule of law and human decency.

He said, “On the 7th of February, we summoned the people of Okoloba and Okuoma communities in Bomadi and Ughelli South Local Government Areas, including the members representing the two constituencies in the State House of Assembly, the Council Chairmen, and their Presidents-General, where we advised them that a lot has been happening in their area and they signed a peace accord.

“The killing of these Army officers and soldiers came as a rude shock to us, and when this thing happened, I immediately called the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Army Staff because I was in Abuja. I came back and issued a press statement.

“On Monday, I went to Bomadi to meet with all the security chiefs, where we had our security council meeting, and I got briefings from the Brigade Commander. In attendance were the G.O.C. 6 Division Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Jamil Abdussalam, and the JTF Commander, Real Admiral John Okeke.

“After the meeting, I went to Abuja to meet with Mr. President to brief him on what happened. I also went to see the Chief of Army Staff to discuss this with him. I also met with the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police.

“I felt that it was also proper that I brief you people, even though you may be aware. Those people who committed that evil act must face the wrath of the law. No kingdom should shield those criminals because Delta State is governed by the tenets of the law and human decency.

“We cannot tolerate that. It has never happened in this state to kill one lieutenant. colonel, two majors, one captain, and 13 soldiers. We need to fish out those involved.

“Do not hide or shield anybody. The Chief of Army Staff and Mr. President have assured me that innocent people will not be victimized unless you connive with the killers of the soldiers.

“I have briefed you, and make sure that you fish them out of your kingdoms. If any traditional ruler shields a criminal, that traditional ruler is inviting trouble.

“We did not bargain for this evil act, but for peace, I don’t want a crisis. I have also received information that two other villages are boiling to fight; they should not fight. We want peace in all our communities.

“What are they fighting for? I have promised you people that I am going to do more for Deltans, so what are they fighting for? All of us are Deltans, and we want development.

“For the first time in almost two decades, we had peace in Warri in December, and people celebrated in peace. Now that we have a communal crisis, why?

“I condemn it, and it’s unacceptable. So please, my dear royal fathers, let us be on the same page to fish out these people. Don’t allow anybody who committed this evil act to come to your kingdom and bring problems to your community.

“Tell us, and we will hand them over to security agencies. You should not play politics with this. Don’t say that the Army has taken over your village because they cannot just come to it without getting information. But I assure you that no innocent person will be victimized.

“Tell your people not to encourage crises because if you do, you cannot come out of them. Some people don’t know about what is happening, so they start talking. What I did was go and brief the Commander in Chief and later grant the State House Correspondents interview.”

In response, the Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Maj. Gen. Felix Mujakperuo (retd), stated that they agreed with the Governor to ensure the state’s peace and security.

He stated that the security of numerous kingdoms would be linked to the security of the state and nation.

He called for a judicial commission to investigate the local and remote causes of the situation.

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