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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Edwin Clark: 40 army personnel searching for killers of soldiers raided my house in Delta.

Edwin Clark, convener of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says military personnel searching for killers of 17 soldiers raided his house in Kiagbodo, Burutu LGA of Delta state.

On March 14, some personnel of the Nigerian Army — comprising a lieutenant colonel, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers — were killed by youths while on a peacekeeping mission in Okuama.

The military had vowed to hunt down the killers of the soldiers.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Clark said military personnel conducting a search operation of the suspects linked to the killing of the soldiers, raided his home.

The elder statesman, however, said the army later apologised to him.

“At about 6 pm on Saturday, 23rd March 2024, I got a telephone call from someone who identified himself as the commanding officer of the Nigerian Army division in Port Harcourt,” Clark said.

“He said that a tracker of the Nigerian Army had tracked one Mr. Vote, the community chairman of Okuoma community whom the army was looking for in respect of the killings of the 17 men of the Nigerian Army, to a house in Ughelli and that the military men had broken into the house, ransacked it before they were informed that the house belongs to me, that he was very sorry and apologising to me on behalf of the army.

“In my usual way and as a leader who is expected to condone as much as possible, I accepted his apology wholeheartedly but told him that I do not own a house in Ughelli, that the house he is referring to could be my father’s.

“I went on to sympathise with the Nigerian Army over the gruesome murder of the soldier, an action I had condemned severally the moment I heard of it in the news.

“I assured him that we would all work within our powers to avail the security agencies with any available information that would unravel the whole thing and bring the perpetrators to book. We ended the discussion on a cordial note.

“It was not long after that, I was inundated with calls from my home, Kiagbodo, telling me how the army had invaded my country home by land and by air. They came in about 5 trucks loaded with armed soldiers numbering between 30 and 40.

“They used their legs to break open all the doors in the compound, including the security door to my sitting room which was locked because I reside in Abuja. At the same time, flying their drone within the premises.

“Some of them went to the buildings behind the main house and also broke all the doors that were locked. They marched out my staff living in those buildings, including lecturers at the university, and made them sit on bare ground.”

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