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Soldiers’ killing: Military operation in Delta community questionable – Retired Gen.

A retired Major General, Cecil Esekhaigbe, has raised concerns about the recent military operation in Okuama community, Delta State that resulted in the death of…

A retired Major General, Cecil Esekhaigbe, has raised concerns about the recent military operation in Okuama community, Delta State that resulted in the death of 16 soldiers.

General Esekhaigbe emphasized that internal security is primarily the responsibility of the police, raising the question of why the military was deployed.

Speaking on Channels TV on Monday, he questioned the intelligence gathering prior to the operation.

He said, “What was the intelligence surrounding this operation? Is it the job of the Nigerian Army to go settle communal clashes? When you have decided to go intervene what was the clear mission, was it defined?

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“And do you send an officer and three men to go to a place where you have not got adequate intelligence of the happenings in that place? This comes to mind the need to go down to the basics of infantry tactics.

“And even the attempt to go and rescue those three soldiers and officer was also poorly organised. The commanding officer of a unit is the last hope of that unit. Why should the commanding officer leave his unit and go for such a mission?

“There are questions here, what happened? Is the Nigerian Army supposed to come in there? Where are the police? The police are the lead agency in internal security.

“The time has come for us to withdraw our soldiers from this responsibility that is not supposed to be their own on the first line.

“There are basics tactics, doctrines and training in the military and other security agencies. At what point did the military come in? Have the police gone there and were not able to do it and they called for the Nigerian Army’s help?

“Even the process of calling for the Nigerian Army’s help has a procedure. We must redefine our professional ethics, we must go back to the basics.”

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