JUST IN: Deal With Killers Not Communities, Eradiri Begs Army

Deal With Killers Not Communities, Eradiri Begs Army

Deal With Killers Not Communities, Eradiri Begs Army



Governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Bayelsa State in the last election, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, has appealed to the Nigerian Army to identify, arrest and deal decisively with only persons directly and remotely connected to last week’s gruesome killing of 17 soldiers and officers in Okuama community in Delta State.

Eradiri, a former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, in a statement he issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday strongly condemned the incident describing it as a pogrom.

While describing the killings as barbaric, heinous and unimaginable, Eradiri said no circumstances should have warranted such magnitude of wickedness against officials and personnel of a law enforcement agency.

Eradiri, who acknowledged the provocation of the military by the dastardly act, however, called for restraints in the way and manner it had chosen to address the issue.

He appealed to the military to adopt the best globally accepted cause of action in dealing with the unfortunate development by avoiding the temptation to vent its anger on innocent communities and civilians.

Eradiri asked the military to deploy high level intelligence gathering to identify, isolate, arrest and deal decisively with only those connected to the incident.

He urged the stakeholders of the community where the incident took place, especially the traditional rulers, chiefs and responsible youth leadership to volunteer information that would facilitate the arrest of the culprits.

The LP candidate said beyond dealing with the perpetrators, the military should also order full scale investigations into the circumstances that caused the killings to enable it to redesign its operational strategies to avert recurrence.

He wondered why such an incident was allowed to occur in the first place, saying it was a pointer to the collapse of the state and local government administrations, failures of traditional institutions and dearth of intelligence within the security network.

Eradiri called on the federal government to strengthen the capacity of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to join the police in handling communal issues insisting that the military had no business in handling any internal dispute.

He said, “What happened in Okuama is shocking, tragic and unimaginable. I strongly condemn the ambush and killings of military officials, who reportedly went for a peacekeeping mission in the area. Why and how did such barbarism take place?

“I sympathize with the military and condole with the families of the deceased. It is obvious that this bloodshed has provoked the military. But I call for restraint. The world is watching how the military will handle the incident and the military must show maturity by ensuring that only individuals connected directly or indirectly to the killings are affected by their actions.

“The military must resist the temptation of attacking innocent communities and killing people, who know nothing about the incident. This is time to deploy a high level of intelligence in identifying, arresting and dealing with only the perpetrators. Nobody involved in this pogrom should be spared.

“While seeking justice for the deceased, I also call on the military to carry out a thorough and unbiased investigation into the circumstances that led to this dastardly act. This is to enable the military to redesign its operational strategies to avoid a recurrence,” he said.


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