Troops of Operation Delta Safe, have killed notorious cultist, kidnapper and militant leader, Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo aka ‘Karowei’ and several members of his gang in a bloody shootout after the gang tried to free him from arrest.
According to the military, Karowei and his gang members were responsible for the kidnap of four British Missionaries on the 13th of October 2017 in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State which led to the unfortunate death of one of the Britons, Late Mr. Ian Squire.
Karowei and his gang also on 7th January 2018, attacked troops of the JTF at Bolu Ndoro forest which led to the death of four (4) Military OPDS personnel.
Commander of the JTF in Niger Delta, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi who made this known in a statement, said, “In line with the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) mandate to protect critical Oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region, a deliberate operation code named Op Ember Safe was conducted by the Force.
“This operation was aimed at tackling the security challenges posed to safety of lives and critical oil and gas facilities in the region.
“Consequently, a 7 day clearance operation was initiated by the Commander JTF Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman to sanitize the region of militants, cultists, sea robbers, kidnappers and other criminals.
“During the operation, precisely on Thursday 11 January 2018, a notorious militant leader Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo also known as ‘Karowei’ and his criminal gang were arrested.
“It could be recalled that Mr. Karowei and his criminal gang abducted four (4) British Missionaries on 13th October 2017 in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State which led to the unfortunate death of one of the Britons, Late Mr. Ian Squire.
“Karowei and his gang were also responsible for several abductions/kidnappings, robberies and raping of innocent women in the region including unprovoked attacks on military locations in Delta and Bayelsa States.
“Also on 7th January 2018, Karowei and his gang attacked own troops at Bolu Ndoro forest which led to the death of four (4) Military OPDS personnel.
“After his arrest, Mr Karowei confessed to several criminal acts and led troops to his camp to recover the cache of arms and ammunitions in his possession as well as to persuade other members of his gang to surrender.
“However in a twist of events, Karowei’s recalcitrant group laid an ambush and attacked Task Force troops in a gun battle at his camp deep in the forest.
“This was in a bid to rescue Karowei from own troops.
“The superior firepower, resilience and gallantry of own troops countered this snap attack which resulted in the death of several of Karowei’s henchmen and the king pin, Karowei who tried to flee to rejoin his cohorts.
“The Commander, Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman deeply appreciates the support of the locals within communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in finally uprooting this notorious criminal, who in conjunction with his gang have constituted serious security menace around the general area.
“The Commander Joint Task Force also wishes to seek additional selfless support from law abiding citizens to uproot all criminals causing mayhem within the Niger Delta.
“He urges all to go about their legitimate businesses as the waterways are now safe and secure.
“Furthermore he assures the local communities of the Task Force’s commitments to stem all criminalities in the Niger Delta in line with the mandate of the Chief of Defence Staff as well as strategic expectations of the Joint Task Force.”
Major Ibrahim Abdullahi
Joint Media Campaign Centre.