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How a Power Struggle in the Niger Delta Led to Fatalities in Okuama

Investigations into the tragic incident that resulted in the deaths of 17 soldiers in the Okuama community of Ughelli South LGA, Delta State, have unveiled a hidden truth surrounding a feud between illegal oil bunker Endurance Okodeh, also known as Amangbein, and a powerful cartel of illegal oil bunkers.

An investigation conducted by the International Centre For Investigative Reporting (ICIR) revealed that the conflict escalated when the leader of the cartel, ex-militant Government Ekpemukpolo, commonly known as Tompolo, who operates a private security company, sought to assert control over the Niger Delta creeks. Tompolo allegedly warned Amangbein, an ally of a sitting governor in the Niger Delta, to refrain from illegal oil activities, a demand perceived by Amangbein as oppression.

It was gathered that Amangbein, originally from the Igbomotoru community in Bayelsa State, emerged as a vocal critic of Tompolo and former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss Patrick Akpobolokemi. Their rivalry extended into the Okuama/Okoloba land dispute, adding fuel to the already tense situation.

Military authorities targeted Amangbein as the suspected leader of the militant group responsible for the soldiers’ deaths, who were deployed to Okuama to rescue Anthony Aboh, an alleged associate of Akpobolokemi. Aboh’s connections to the former NIMASA chief, including the alleged construction of a mansion on disputed land, triggered the deadly confrontation.

Amangbein, with roots in Okuama through his mother, fled to his paternal community in Bayelsa State following the military’s raid on Igbomotoru, which resulted in injuries and property damage.

Initially, the military attributed the soldiers’ deaths to the illegal bunkering business. However, the Okuama community countered, claiming the soldiers unlawfully raided the area under the pretext of apprehending Aboh, whose lifeless body was later discovered floating in the Forcado River near Ayakoroma community.

The recovery of Aboh’s body intensified the tensions, fueling accusations and counterclaims between the communities involved. The tragic incident underscores the complex interplay of interests and power dynamics in the Niger Delta region, where disputes over land, resources, and allegiances often result in violence and loss of life.

Efecha Gold
Efecha Gold
Multimedia Expert, Journalist, and Singer.


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