Posted by News Express | 7 May 2017 | 1,585 times
Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi, Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, on Sunday applauded the gallantry of soldiers who repelled an attack by militants on its troops in Ondo.
JTF troops had killed a suspected militant leader in a shoot-out with militants in Ondo state but some soldiers were killed during the shoot-out on April 30
Apochi said in an interview in Yenagoa that JTF under his command remained committed to protecting innocent citizens residing in Niger Delta region and checking criminality.
He noted that it was regrettable that troops deployed on routine patrols to secure oil infrastructure were targeted in unprovoked attacks and often lost their lives in discharge of their professional duties.
Apochi who commiserated with the families of the fallen personnel adding that their sacrifices would never be in vain even as efforts would be intensified to trace the killers and bring them to face the law.
He explained that the soldiers were ambushed but the quickly recovered and repelled the attack while the militant took to their heels on the death of their leader with gunshot injuries.
According to the Commander, the military has reopened the Ono-Lagos waterways and made it navigable after the militants group led by late Ossy Ibori had blocked the route for four months
He noted that the relative peace and reduced incidents of attacks on oil facilities was a result of the tireless efforts of the joint military force deployed to the region and solicited the support of the public to the operations of the military.
“Our people need to understand the sacrifices of the military as patriotic citizens who have volunteered to protect them and give them the support they need in the line of duty, we are trained to defend people.
“In the ongoing operation to fish out those responsible for the attack, we are very careful about harming innocent people and we shall make no mistake about it, but anyone who habours, protects criminals will lose that immunity.
“We shall go after anyone or community that shields the criminals,” Apohi said.
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