Tue. May 21st, 2024
Concerned Ijaw Citizens (CIC) has
denounced unwarranted attacks and campaign of calumny against the Nigeria military over the Okoloba/Okuama crisis.
The group in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu jointly signed by its Coordinator, Mr Seigha Manager and the Publicity Secretary, Chief Andrew E. Elijah said it has uncovered a string of sponsored and unwarranted attacks and a well orchestrated campaign of calumny by a section of the media with a view to discrediting the Nigeria military on the Okoloba/Okuama crisis.
It stated that the aim was to blackmail the Armed Forces with deliberate falsehood and unfounded stories in the media space as a ploy to demand for the removal of the Service Chiefs.
While commending the level of professionalism of the military in handling the Okoloba/Okuama crisis, the group urged the Military Command, not be blackmailed to abandon their professional duties.
The group stated that the Okoloba people believed in peaceful means to end the conflict and agreed to submit themselves to the Military Board of inquiry.
It commended President Bola Tinubu for adopting an unbiased approach
to the Okuama/Okoloba crisis despite the sponsored media blackmails
The letter stated that the Okoloba people have been notifying the relevant security agencies, local and state government on the recklessly activities of the Okuama people including (but not limited) alleged unwarranted harassment of defenceless women and men with machetes, clubs, bows, arrows, guns in their farms and fishing lakes, rape, kidnap, arson, murder among others.
The letter states “We are duty bound to alert the rest of the country and Mr President that the sole objective of the Okuama people rejecting the panel of inquiry is to hoodwink the rest of the country into joining their ungodly attempt to rubbish the efforts of the Armed Forces that lost officers and men in Okuama in the most barbaric manner, in order to distract their attention from another planned attack from Urhobo communities.
“The recovery of arms and ammunitions from Olota Community (Ewu-Urhobo community) few kilometres from Okoloba is a proof that the hostile attitude of Okuama to the Military panel of inquiry was to divert the attention of military from their peace-keeping duties
“It is unfortunate that a section of the media would throw away ethics of the profession anchored on truth, and go ahead to publish cooked-up stories with the sole aim of blackmailing and
discrediting members of the Armed Forces still mourning their loved ones. yet 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
 We are ready for their antics, tactics and strategies.
“Your Excellency, the recovery of countless arms and ammunitions at Olota, an Ewu-Urhobo community has vindicated the Okoloba people that the Okuama people and the Ewu kiths and kins have been the aggressors all along and that the army’s ‘cordon and
search’ operations is the best option for now in our area. Those crying wolf
 against the army have hidden agenda and the activities of the military is in their own best interests.
“Your Excellency, we use ths opportunity to call on you to use your good offices to direct the inspector-General of Police to carry out the immediate prosecution of Okuama people for the above mentioned heinous crimes, particularly the mercenaries that abducted and later killed the Okoloba indigenes
“Overall, we thank Mr. President for adopting an unbiased approach
to the Okuama/Okoloba crisis despite the sponsored media blackmails
The group condemned the unprovoked killing of the 17 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Okuama, and expressed deep condolences to the Chief of Defense Staff (COS), the Chief of Army  Staff (COAS) and the families of the tallen heroes, and prayed  the Almighty God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

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