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Clark counters Akpabio, rules out mercenaries in soldiers’ killings



Police raid Edwin Clark Abuja home for arms

Elder statesman and leader of the Ijaw Nation, Edwin Clark, has ruled out insinuations that mercenaries could be behind the killing of 16 Nigerian soldiers while on a peace-keeping mission to the Okuama community in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State last week Thursday.

The soldiers comprising of a Lieutenant Colonel, a Major, a Captain, and 12 other rank and file soldiers, were serving with the 181 Amphibious Battalion and were on the mission to quell community clashes in the Bomadi LGA of the state when they were abducted and subsequently killed.

During a debate on Tuesday in the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, the president of the Senate, stated that foreigners might have been involved in the killing of the soldiers.

While addressing the legislators, Akpabio opined that the individuals who killed the troops might have been hired as mercenaries.

“We are not at war. I don’t think they are from the Niger Delta. They may be mercenaries,” the former Akwa Ibom State governor said.

However, Clark who is also the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum (PANDEF), in an interview programme on Arise TV on Tuesday, said he finds it difficult to believe that the killers of the soldiers could be mercenaries.

Pa Clark insisted that leaders of the various communities involved in the incident must be questioned, and nobody should be treated as a sacred cow, while advocating that the military, along with the communities, should work together to fish out the people who committed the murder.

“Well that is difficult to believe,” Clark said when asked if he believed the killers of the soldiers could be mercenaries.

“I don’t think we should expect this thing. Let’s look at ourselves. I spoke to the Lt Col on Thursday and he went to the place on Thursday and died.

“Except they had information they were going to Okuama. Otherwise, nobody knew they were going there.

“People to come from outside to waylay them, to surround them is a matter they should investigate. We can’t rule anything out but at the same time let us look at ourselves

“The leaders of the various communities must be brought together, and find out from them, nobody should be treated as a sacred cow.

“I may say this: I am an Ijaw man and I will be the last person to allow this type of matter to degenerate to a situation whereby we have intercommunal fracas or fight,” he added.

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