SLAIN SOLDIER IN EDO IJAW COMMUNITY: Handiwork of foreign criminal elements, says group 

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..wants Edo and Delta State Governors to wade into matter

By Isaac Olamikan

Egbema Academic Welfare Association (EAWA) has placed the blame of the recent killing of a soldier in Sadama, a community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State on those they described as “foreign criminal elements.” 

In a statement signed jointly by Pastor Ebilate Eferusuoa, Toru-ibe Agagha Esq, Engr Mewariwei Alfred Boyed and Surveyor Ariri James Karenatei, EAWA stated that the dastardly act was carried out “to blackmail the good and peace loving people of Egbema and to cause serious disaffection between the military and their hosts.”

While expressing shock on the killing of the soldier in the kingdom, EAWA added that it condemned “such nonsensical and barbaric act in its entirety as the soldiers have always protected citizens since their deployment and have been diligent in carrying out their duties and do not by any stretch of imagination deserve such gruesome killing.

“However, we believe this is the handiwork of foreign criminal elements to blackmail the good and peace loving people of Egbema and to cause serious disaffection between the military and their hosts.”

Going further, EAWA expressed its fears “as the incident has led to serious apprehension and tension within the locality thereby affecting, academic, economic, fishing and agricultural activities. 

“Students can longer attend schools just as social services have been brought to a halt occasioned by heavy military presence in the form of warlike military men with their attendant brutality on the civil populace.

“As youths from our dear kingdom, we are ready to partner with the relevant security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act and to curb subsequent criminality within our area albeit given the proper atmosphere to do so.

“It is our firm belief that the incident can be handled peacefully without military pressure on the innocent populace.”

The group called “on all relevant agencies to set up a panel of investigation with the involvement of the populace” while appealing “for calm on the part of the military especially the Commanders of the JTF and the 4th Mechanized Brigade.”

EAWA also called on the governors of Edo and Delta States to wade into the issue.

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