Delta CP Says Governor, Police Can’t Enter Okuama Because of ‘Ongoing Army Operation’

Abaniwonda Olufemi, Delta State’s Commissioner of Police, has said that the police can’t gain access tobecause of an ongoing military operation in the area....CONTINUE READING

Olufemi also said, in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday, that Sheriff Oborevwori, the governor of Delta State, had not entered Okuama.

Journalists have not been allowed to see what has really happened in Okuama. Olufemi said that he would need clearance before deploying officers to the Okuama area.

“In the Okuama incident, we have an ongoing military operation there. We have been on ground, we have been supportive and we have not been missing in action. We are working in conjunction with other security agencies and I can assure you that we are making progress,” Olufemi said on Wednesday.

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“The situation in the general Okuama area, not just the communities, is calm for now. Most of the places are deserted. The Okuama and Okoloba communities have been having perennial disputes over fishing rights. The unfortunate incident happened when military officers went on a peacekeeping operation. Since that incident happened, it has become what I call a military operation zone.

“We have not been able to move into this community. Of course, it is our responsibility as the primary line of defence in internal security. But when you have another sister agency conducting an operation, the reasonable thing to do is to wait for them to finish.

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“We have not been able to get into Okuama because of the volatile nature of what is going on around that environment.

“I might not be able to accurately respond to these questions [if buildings are torched or more civilian casualties have occurred], but what is important to note is that these things are ongoing. We must seek to be collaborative.

“For us to get to Okoloba or Okuama, we must get clearance.”

When asked about what type of clearance and from whom he would get it, Olufemi said that it would come from a military theatre commander or the operation commander. He explained that he had to be sure that the officers he sent in would not be hurt by the military’s presence.

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Olufemi said that the police would be able to get in soon. He, however, did not give the time this would happen.

The police commissioner also said that he had not deployed drones in Okuama or Okoloba.

“When this situation happened, the main perpetrators disappeared into the creeks and into other states. Delta shares boundaries by the waterways with a number of states. The individuals who have been brought in are being questioned. The manhunt is on,” Olufemi said.

“It is collaborative responsibility and engagement. For now, our drones are not deployed in that environment.”