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MURIC condemns killing of 16 soldiers in Delta community

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the killing of 16 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army 181 Amphibious Battalion in Okuama, Delta, describing it as cowardly, criminal, barbaric, and unpatriotic.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director, MURIC, stated this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Criminal elements in the Okuama Community of Delta attacked and killed 16 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army 181 Amphibious Battalion, comprising a lieutenant colonel, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers. The troops were killed while on a peace mission in the community on Thursday, March 14.

“This unprovoked attack is unjustifiable by any parameter, and we strongly condemn it. It is cowardly, criminal, barbaric, and unpatriotic. The fact that there was no prior confrontation or act of aggression on the part of the soldiers before the attack makes the killings premeditated, inhuman, and heartless.

“It is only criminals and unscrupulous elements who hate and kill security agents. It is also only such hoodlums and social miscreants who burn and destroy buildings and vehicles belonging to security agents and the government.

“MURIC advises community leaders in Okuama to expose those behind the heinous crime. We also advise the suspects to turn themselves in with immediate effect in order to preserve the good name of the community,’’ Akintola said.
He added, “We call on Nigerians to evolve the culture of cherishing their heroes. Our security agencies, including the army, police, and the Department of State Services (DSS), deserve our respect and cooperation.
‘’They are at the forefront of all security challenges. The army, in particular, is our first line of defence. That is why we are deeply hurt that men of the Nigerian Army were killed in this callous manner by the same people whom they were protecting. It is a stab in the back.
“The security agencies stay awake so that we can sleep. They are in the trenches under rain and burning sun so that we can enjoy the comfort of our homes. They leave their families for months so that we can be among our loved ones. It amounts to expressing ingratitude to attack those who give so much to us.
“We appeal to Nigerians to continue to support security agents and to report crimes and criminals to them promptly and without fear. The army, police, and DSS alone cannot do the work effectively. They need us, and it is part of our civic responsibility to cooperate with them.’’
“MURIC assures the leadership and men of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies that millions of Nigerians are with them in their efforts to fight criminality and restore normalcy in the country. The few criminals in Okuama are just a drop in the ocean.
‘’The rest of us should not be judged by a handful of shameless saboteurs. We therefore urge the army to put this sad incident behind it.

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“We urge the Federal Government to institute a special Medal of Okuama to be given posthumously to the 12 heroes and subsequently to be reserved for soldiers slain in like manner in the future.

“As we mourn the fallen patriots and heroes, we condole with the army leadership and pray that Allah will give their respective families the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”. (NAN)

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