Godswill Akpabio Under Fire For His Comment On Who Masterminde Killing of Nigeria Soldiers At Okuama Community

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio is facing hot criticism from various civil society organizations and lots of security expert for suggesting that killings of 16 military personnel on last Thursday in Delta State, might have been masterminded by foreign mercenaries,

The military troops, consisting commanding officer, lieutenant colonel, two majors, one captain, and twelve soldiers, were killed on their peacekeeping mission to the warring communities of Okuama and Okoloba.

Akpabio said this, in his address on the tragic incident during plenary on Tuesday, just after the Senate unanimously agreed to set up a committee to probe the circumstances surrounding the incident,

“I don’t want to conclude that these people are from Niger Delta because we respect men and women in uniform. That’s why I’m saying that your additional prayer should be to carry out a thorough investigation to know whether they were mercenaries outside Nigeria, who came in to commit this crime because I don’t think these people are from Niger Delta.

“We’re not at war. Even in the field of war, to lose such a number of personnel, no community will go to the extent of doing that kind of thing; I don’t think they’re from Niger Delta.”

However, Akpabio’s comment did not gone down well with some Nigerians.

According to the report, while reacting to Akpabio’s comments, the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International-Nigeria (TI-Nigeria), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, frowned at what he perceived as subtle attempt to give soft landing to the perpetrators of the heinous crime, insisting that a criminal is a criminal irrespective of tribe, culture, faith or where he or she comes from.

In another development, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Gad Peter, counsel political leaders to be careful with their comments on such sensitive issues.

According to Peter, he said perhaps Akpabio should be asked to provide details about the nation that stormed Nigeria in that instance since he appears to know that the attackers were foreigners.

Tunde Salman, the Team Lead/Convener of Good Governance Team Nigeria, on his part, described Akpabio’s remarks as very sad, unacceptable and condemnable.

Additionally, the National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, was a little more circumspect in his reaction.

He was of the view that Akpabio was just guessing, adding, “Foreign elements could mean strange persons from outside of that community where the incident happened.”

But in his own position, Haruna Garba, a security exper, simply surprised why Akpabio would make such a costing comment at this fragile period without waiting for the outcome of the investigation.

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