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Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2024

Okuama:Where Sheriff Oborevwori Went Wrong


By  Barr. (Chief) Malcolm Omirhobo

LAGOS MAY 16TH (URHOBOTODAY)-I was miffed beyond measure when I watched a press briefing where the Governor of Delta State,.Sheriff Oborevwori was ignorantly or would I say cowardly hailing the FGN and the military high command for their interventions for the withdrawal of Soldiers from the Okuama and a dishonest crowd thunderously applauding him.

For the records on 14/3/2024, 17 Soldiers illegally and unlawfully entered into the Okuama to perform the duties of the Nigerian police Force and in the process where regrettably and unfortunately killed by unidentified criminals.

Instead  of Sheriff calling for a thorough investigation of the matter and  setting up a public inquiry to find out the immediate and remote cause of the condemnable dastardly act, he took a dodge allowing the Nigerian Army with the support of the FGN to resort to self help by flagrantly violating the Nigerian constitution .

Without following due process of law, without being called upon by civil authorities for aid and and without an Act of the National Assembly guiding it,  the Nigerian Army launched a brutal reprisal attack on the residents of Okuama on 15/3/2024 to avenge the murder of the said soldiers through collective punishment maiming, brutalising, harassing, intimidating, coercing and killing the residents of the Okuama.

The Nigerian Army demolished, razed and burnt down the entire buildings in Okuama, cordon it off, illegally and unlawfully seized it causing the people of the Okuama to flee into bushes and forest where they lived under inhuman and excruciating conditions and as fugitives in their own country without any aid or relief materials from Sheriff until 8/5/2024 when the Nigerian Army withdrew fromOkuama.

While all above atrocities and crime against humanity were going on against the people of Okuama, Sherrif kept a sealed lip and distant himself only for him to now call a press conference after the soldiers must have pulled out of Okuama to thank the very Army and the FGN that oppressed and subjugated his people. This I dare say is whimsical and therefore unacceptable of a politician like Sherrif who pride himself as an ex-speaker of Delta State House of Assembly before becoming governor.

Now that the Nigerian Army has withdrawn from Okuama, Sherrif must stop his sycophancy of being thankful to the FGN and the Military High Command because there is nothing to be thankful of. What Sheriff should do in the circumstance is to press for the investigation of the military involvement in the internal security matters of Okuama on 14/3/2024.

Press for the investigation of the murder of the 17 Soldiers so that the criminals who killed them are brought to book.

Press for  the investigation of the Nigerian Army invasion of the Okuama of 15/5/2024. Seek for restitution of the people of Okuama not just by the word of mouth asking them to return to their land to lick their wounds. Go back and address the crisis between the Okoloba Community and the Okuama Community which the people of Okuama complained to him and the Commissioner of Police of Delta State via their letter of 2/2/2024;which he ignored and allowed precipitate into the disaster and catastrophy suffered by the people of Okuama to enhance peace and security amongst the two comments.

Ensure that there are enough police presence to keep the peace as the people of Okuama returns home to rebuild their community.If possible facilitate the building of a functional police station there because so far there have been reports of daily bloody violence in Okuama since 8/5/2024. All the above must not be swept under the carpet by Sheriff for a lasting solution to the crisis between the Okuama and the Okoloba Communities, for justice of the 17 murdered soldiers ,for the restitution of the people of Okuama and for the growth and stability of our nascent democracy.


A human right lawyer, Barr. (Chief) Malcolm Omirhobo  writes from Lagos

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