Posted by News Express | 27 July 2016 | 1,768 times
The Headquarters of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta code-named Operation Delta Safe has said its operatives will crush militants in the region whenever it is given the directive to do so by the Federal Government.
Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, the new commander of the ODS, stated this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists in his office in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.
He however said that the security outfit which comprises the army, navy, air force, police and other security agencies would continue to exercise restraint to avoid “collateral damage”, during major military operations against the arms-bearing youths.
Okojie described the crisis in the region as a fifth-generation security threat, stressing that Nigerians would soon begin to see results from the efforts by the forces to tackle the violent agitators in the region.
He boasted that the military has total control of the security infrastructure in the country and that the military remains subservient to the political leadership of the country.
Okojie noted that the Federal Government, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and all the service chiefs were fully involved in the current operations to get rid of all criminalities in the region.
He said: “The ODS will not shirk its responsibility in ensuring of the Niger Delta. We will ensure that there is sanctity of our territorial integrity, but we have to make sure that collateral damage is minimised.
“We are on top of the security manifestations and at the appropriate time, if necessary, action will be taken to ensure there is peace.
“If there is need to up the tempo, we will do it, but for now (our operations) are driven by the political imperatives of our leaders. The political leadership has come out with clear instructions while we also carry out our core duty.”
The ODS commander who was flanked by his lieutenants in charge of land operations, maritime and civil military operations explained that in the last few weeks, his men had successfully foiled cases of pipelines vandalism, kidnapping, illegal oil refining, sea piracy and other criminalities in the region.
“These are complex operations, but we are trained for that and very soon everyone will begin to see the results.
“We are quite capable of enforcing our mandate. This is a fifth-generation warfare. Not everyone there is a criminal. It’s complex and you must consider innocent people. Every situation demands its own solution. We wouldn’t want to hear complaints that people are being killed,” he said.
Okojie appealed to the media to be objective and professional in reporting the security challenges in the region, saying that the military would continue to keep its mandate of providing a safe environment for economic prosperity.
“We have seen reports emanating from faceless sources that tend to compromise national security in the mainstream media and want to restate our commitment to the mandate given to Operation Delta Safe.
“Our mandate does not include engagement in propaganda with any interest and wish to restate that the territorial integrity of our country is sacrosanct.
“We implore the media to rise to the occasion and subject their security related stories to the dictates of their professional ethics,” Okojie noted. (Independent)
•Photo shows troops of Operation Delta Safe.
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