April 20, 2024

Okuama: Ijaw group condemns campaign of calumny against military


A group, Concerned Ijaw Citizens, has condemned the unwarranted attacks and campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military over the Okoloba/Okuama crisis.

This is contained in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.

The letter was signed by the group’s Coordinator, Mr Seigha Manager and Publicity Secretary, Chief Andrew Elijah.

The group said it had uncovered a string of sponsored and unwarranted attacks and a well orchestrated campaign of calumny by a section of the media aimed at discrediting the Nigerian military over the crisis.

It said that the target was to blackmail the Armed Forces through deliberate falsehood and unfounded stories in the media space as a ploy to demand for the removal of service chiefs.

The group, however, commended the professionalism of the military in handling the crisis and urged the Military High Command not to succumb to the blackmail.

According to the group, the people of Okoloba believe in pursuing peaceful means to end the conflict and will submit themselves to the Military Board of inquiry set up over the crisis.

It commended Tinubu for his unbiased approach towards addressing the crisis, in spite of the sponsored media blackmail.

It alleged that the rejection of the panel of inquiry by Okuama community was to hoodwink the rest of the country into joining them to rubbish the efforts of the Armed Forces.

The group also alerted the President of an alleged plot to attack some communities in the area.

“It is unfortunate that a section of the media would throw away ethics of the profession,  which is anchored on truth, and go ahead to publish cooked-up stories with the sole aim of blackmailing and discrediting members of the armed forces working hard to safeguard lives and properties in the creeks of the Niger Delta.

“They have carried this smear campaign to the civi societies, professional groups and the international community, but failed,” the Concerned Ijaw Citizens added.

The group stressed that “those crying wolf against the army have hidden agenda.”

The Concerned Ijaw Citizens called on the President to direct the Police to commence the prosecution of those found culpable in the killing of soldiers and civilians in Okuama.

It condemned the unprovoked killing of the 17 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Okuama, and expressed deep condolences to the Chief of Defence Staff, and families of the fallen heroes.