By Ndu Samuel

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has fumed and condemned in strong terms the killing of 16 soldiers on Thursday 14th of March 2024 at Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The apex youth group in Niger Delta made the condemnation in a statement signed on behalf of the Ijaw Youths by Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill, Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide in Yenagoa earlier today, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide.

The statement reads in full below:

Ijaw Youth Council (IYC ) Worldwide

Press Statement


IYC Condemns Killing Of Soldiers In Okuama, Wants Pepetrators Brought To Book

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has criticised and condemned in strong terms the brutal killing of Soldiers on a peace mission to Okuoma, an Urhobo community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday 14th of March 2024.

It is very unfortunate that people will dare to have the impetus and temerity to invade and attack soldiers on a peace mission to resolve the lingering communal battle between the people of Okuama in Ughelli South and their brothers from Okoloba community in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State. To us, this is not only barbaric but also unacceptable.

The IYC Worldwide is well aware of the indispensable role played by the Military and other security agencies in the country, that the country is peaceful today is all thanks to them that have been fighting to ensure our peaceful coexistence as a nation.

As Council, we are calling on the military top hierarchy to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter with a view of bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. This is an evil that must not be swept under the carpet as bringing the culprits to book will serve as a deterrent to others.

However, we are using this medium to call on His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Governor of Delta State to quickly resolve whatever differences the people of Okuama and Okoloba are having now before it degenerates to something else.

Government must not appear to be too relax in tackling communal clashes, there is nothing that is more disturbing than this news at the moment, the Government must swing into action now. We have lost too many precious lives in this battle already as we cannot afford to lost anyone going further.

The Ijaws and Urhobos are one united big family, whatever that is affecting Ijaw is also affecting Urhobo. Most Ijaw people are traceable to Urhobo likewise the Urhobos as well. We are actually fighting over nothing. Peace is indeed priceless, we must continue to learn how to tolerate ourselves and live peacefully together. What binds us together as brothers is greater than what divides us as a people.

Nevertheless, the IYC have also received a lot of distress calls from our people in various communities that the military has been burning down houses for which many innocent lives have been lost.

Council is reiterating that while we will not cover up any evil, we are calling on the military to work strictly with intelligence and not to bring down entire community under the guise of looking for criminals. The innocent must not pay for crimes they did not commit.

We are urging the military to go after those behind the act with a view of bringing them to face the law. The IYC is using this fora to sympathise with the families of our gallant 16 Soldiers that lost their lives in the deadly ambush carried out by the criminal elements. We seek justice for the slain soldiers.

Finally, we have it on credible source that as a fall out from the unfortunate ambush that led to the killing of the Soldiers, the Military had extended its unslaught to Igbumtoro in Boma Kingdom, Bayelsa State where houses have been burnt down, a lot of persons killed including elder brother to a serving Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State is said to have been killed. The method of killing according to our sources is that the bodies of countless people have been cremated in the unslaught. The Ijaw Youth Council is tasking the military not to go out of the rules of engagement by being professional in their operations. We also extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families of all the innocent ones that have lost their lives in this unslaught.

Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill, Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council, IYC Worldwide.