Posted by News Express | 25 August 2016 | 1,943 times
The Joint Military for in the Niger on Wednesday vowed that there would be no let-up in its crackdown on Niger Delta militants who continue to spurn the Federal Government’s peace moves.
The JTF read the Riot Act while announcing that it had arrested three militants and killed some others during a raid on the hideout of Niger Delta Avengers that killed four soldiers during an attack at Nembe, Bayelsa State.
Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie told journalists at a news conference in Yenagoa on Wednesday that a cache of arms was recovered in the raid.
Okojie said their operation which involved a crackdown on masterminds of the attack on a military post at Nembe jetty took place on August 13.
Troops, he said, located and raided the criminal hideout in a camp at Saraba creek in Okiama Community in Okigbene in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State where several items were recovered.
According to him, the items recovered include military accessories leading to coordinated patrols and on August 22, 2016, their troops engaged the criminals at about 2pm in a shootout.
Okojie said some of the militants were believed to have been killed, 3 suspect arrested and large quantities of arms, ammunition and the gun boat that was carted away from the Nembe attack of August 8 recovered.
He explained that in the mop up operation on the militants’ camp at Epebu Creek in southern Ijaw local Government , troops recovered nine AK47 rifles, one FN magazine, one container of gun powder, 1,145 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
Others are 2,485 rounds of 7.62mm ball Cartons, 370 rounds of 7.62mm and 1,356 rounds x7.62mm NATO ammunition.
He said the Joint Task Force conducted the operation professionally without any collateral damage.
His words: “We shall continue to sustain this approach which is in line with global best practices
“It would be recalled that on August 8 at about 9:30 am at Nembe where four soldiers were killed by some criminal elements suspected to be members of the Niger Delta Avengers disguised as people coming from Burial parties.
“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the fact that no criminal would go free, wherever they are, be rest assured we will get them and ensure they face justice.
“Let me re affirm the commitment of joint task force Operation Delta Safe and its resolve to ensure peace and economic stability in the Niger Delta region.”
The Commander said there are windows of opportunity provided by the Federal Government for amicable resolution of grievances by any aggrieved groups rather than engaging in heinous crimes of self help.
“They should seize the opportunity and embrace peace or face full wrath of the law.
“In the same vein, those misguided elements that bear the unachievable and unfortunate message of disunity through declaration of imaginary independence must have a rethink.
“The joint task force believes these unscrupulous elements have ample time and opportunities to channel their grievances properly,” he said.
He therefore assures the law abiding citizens to go about their normal business.
“We will do all within our limit to ensure safe water ways for legitimate business.
“I solicit for cooperation from members of the public in providing timely information as we continue to fish out these criminal from there hideout,” Okojie said
Continuing, he said: “It will interest you to know that within two months of its establishment, Operation Delta Safe has been engaged in intensive patrols.
“Our increased surveillance resulted to destruction of illegal refineries, militant camps, and arrest of several criminals among others.”
•Photo shows Nigerian troops in action.
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