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Army withdraws from Okuama community – says Delta governor

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Troops of the Nigerian Army will be marching out from the embattled Okuama community of Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Governor Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, has announced.

The development came after an interaction between Oborevwori and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja.

The occupation of the community by troops came after the March 14 killing of 17 soldiers, including a Lieutenant-Colonel, two Majors and a Captain, from  the 181 Amphibious Battalion.

A statement from the governor detailing what transpired that led to the troops withdrawal reads: “My dear good people of Delta State, I have the pleasure to announce to you that we have achieved a breakthrough in the deadlock at Okuama.

“After my discussions with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja on Monday the 6th May, the Nigerian Army has agreed to withdraw its officers and men from Okuama with effect from today.

“With this development, the people of Okuama can now safely return to their homes and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

“I want to express my deep and profound gratitude to Mr President, the COAS, and the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army for their understanding and cooperation.

“In my engagements with them, they demonstrated the highest level of concern and care for the plight of the displaced persons. To God be the glory that we have achieved a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

“I also extend my gratitude to members of the National Assembly, distinguished Nigerians, our traditional rulers, and other leaders of thought who stood with us in our travails. Your words of encouragement and prayers are greatly appreciated.

“Let me assure all Deltans and residents in the state that this administration is irrevocably committed to enhanced peace and security in the state as contained in our MORE agenda.

“It is also pertinent to point out that matters of security are better handled with tact, wisdom, and patience; it is not meant to be a subject of daily media polemics as some misguided elements and mischief makers are won’t to suggest.

“As the people of Okuama start the process of returning to their homes, I pledge the commitment of the Delta State Government to make that process smooth and seamless. We shall render all the necessary assistance they need to enable them settle down quickly and joyfully.

“It is my prayer and belief that NEVER AGAIN would Delta experience the kind of tragedy that happened in Okuama. Security, as we all know, is a shared responsibility.

“So, we will continue to count on the support and cooperation of every citizen to ensure that our state remains safe and peaceful.

“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless Delta State. God bless us all”

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