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Killers of Nigerian soldiers may be mercenaries, says Akpabio


On Tuesday, Senate President Godswill Akpabio stated that the killings of 16 military soldiers in Delta State may have been mercenaries rather than Nigerians.

Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, Acting Director of Defence Information, said in a statement on Saturday that the military troops were slain on Thursday while on a peace mission in the community.

According to the soldiers, some of the community’s teenagers surrounded and killed them.

But during a debate on two merged motions moved by Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who represents Katsina Central and Senator Edeh Dafinone of the APC, who represents Delta Central, Senate President Akpabio said the killers may be mercenaries.

“We are not at war. I don’t think they are from the Niger Delta. They may be mercenaries,” Akpabio said.

The Senate subsequently ordered a probe into the killings. It asked the Senate Committee on Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force to liaise with the military authorities to get more information on the remote and immediate cause of what it described as “a dastardly act.”

The senators urged the Nigerian government to recruit more police personnel to relieve the military, which has been saddled with fighting terrorists, bandits and other non-state actors.

The Nigerian Army on Monday told the Okuama community, where 16 of its personnel were killed that no amount of propaganda would arm-twist the narrative. It warned them to be ready to face the wrath of the law for their alleged complicity in the crime.

A statement on Monday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Maj Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, alleged that the community’s complicity in the killing of its personnel had made it resort to media propaganda and shenanigans, rather than engage in a positive effort to fish out the perpetrators.

Titled, “Resort To Propaganda By Okuama Community In The Face Of Gruesome Murder Of Troops On Peace Mission Is Callous And Totally Condemnable,” General Nwachukwu assured the law-abiding citizens of the community that there would be no reprisal from the troops.

He said that the operation of the troops in the community was basically to identify and isolate the criminals to account for their atrocious deeds.

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