Photo: Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai
By Perez Brisibe
EKU—THE Nigerian Army Unit Commander stationed at Ovre-Eku community, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, Lt. E. D. Oworobo, has told a police source that the reason he ordered his men to flog the women who had embarked on a peaceful protest over a disputed land claimed by PRESCO Oil Company, was because they attempted to disarm his men.
Oworobo and his men of the 4th Brigade Command, Benin-City, Edo State, had last Wednesday, flogged and kicked hundreds of women protesting at Ovre-Eku (Iwevbo) community over a land which had been in dispute for years between Edo and Delta states.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Oworobo had contacted the District Officer, DO, of Eku Police station, Mr. Andrew Efejedia, in an attempt to exonerate himself and his men of any wrong doing in the incident, where he claimed that he had no option than to order his men to use minimal force to disperse the protesters who had tried to disarm his men. According to the source, Oworobo had asked the DO, “Don’t you know it is a crime to carry a charm according to the Criminal Code of Nigeria?” Meanwhile, Lt. Oworobo has also threatened to deal with the Warri correspondents of The Authority and The Nation newspapers, Theophilus Onojeghen and Bolaji Ogundele, both of whom had contacted him to know what actually transpired between his men and the protesting women. The offence of the journalists was their temerity to contact him for the military’s side of the incident. In separate reactions to the journalists, an angry Lt Oworobo had described them as idiots and madmen, allegedly saying: “You’re an idiot. You’re a mad man. Why are you calling me? So I should report to you abi? Who are you to call me? If you ever call me in your life, I’ll deal mercilessly with you.”