- 1,389 arms, 20,352 ammunitions recover.
Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has confirmed the killing of four high profile militants terrorizing the Niger Delta region.
It also said troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation DELTA SAFE, has successfully dismantled militant camps across the region.
According to the Acting Director Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, the renegade militants had resisted arrest and engaged in gun battle with troops of the Joint Military Military Task Force during security operations.
Among renegade militant neutralised by the troops include Issy Ibori (Ondo), Commander Augustine Gbangbanran (Delta), Oyawerikumor also known as Kariowei (Bayelsa) and leader of the Bakassi Strike Force also known as ‘GI’.
Agim, addressing a press conference along with the Deputy Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Brig. Gen., Kevin Aligbe in Yenagoa, said that since enhanced military operations begun in the region in 2016, troops of the Niger Delta Task Force, code name Operation RESTORE HOPE, have recovered 1,389 heavy arms and 20,352 ammunitions.
Brig. Agim pointed out that the militants were major threats to the peace of the region and national security.
He explained that the security and anti-oil theft operations in the region were part of the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakan, in line with meeting the strategic expectations for the establishment of the Operation DELTA SAFE.
Agim listed some of the achievements made to include enhanced protection of lives, rise in crude oil production, recovery of arms and ammunition, seizure and impoundment, destruction of illegal refineries and its ancillaries, and arrest of suspects.
“On the Nigerian Army effort to degrade the capacity of criminals involved in crude oil theft and i’s associated crimes, the military troops in the Niger Delta region had seized and impounded 24 vessels,191 barges, 234 outboard engines and 476 other types of passenger boats.
On the capacity of criminals involved in crude oil theft and its associated crimes, the military troops in the Niger Delta region had seized and impounded 24 vessels,191 barges, 234 outboard engines and 476 other types of passenger boat
“Additionally, the Force has seized 105 tanker trucks, 228 other vehicles and 610 pumping machines as well as 76 Generator sets and 5,842 other items used in facilitating illegalities. Suffice to state that part of the Force efforts to deny criminals any freedom of action involves the destruction of their safe havens and the items used in perpetrating illegalities. The Force has in this process destroyed 1,437 illegal refineries, 795 wooden cargo boats, 3,872 metal surface thanks and 1,019 plastic tanks, 13,129 drums and 13,343 Jerry cans.”
Aligbe, speaking on the prosecution of suspected criminals in the region, said though the military is saddled with the duty to arrest suspects, the prosecuting agencies are to arraign them in court, saying “we had over 66 cases prosecuted, and 48 were successful and two cases were lost in court.”