Posted by News Express | 7 June 2018 | 1,597 times
A community-based group, Niger Delta Peace and Development has applauded the joint military force deployed to protect oil infrastructure for stability and addressing restiveness in the area.
James Julius, Chairman of the group said in an interview on Wednesday in Yenagoa that the enhanced security in the region was responsible for a rebound in oil production.
The community leader noted that the effective operations of the joint military force christened Operation Delta Safe under Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi checked renewed agitations that reduced oil output before 2016.
He noted that prior to the deployment of Apochi in June 2016, oil production data from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) indicated a drop to 900,000 barrels daily.
Julius said that it was heart-warming to observe that recent figures from NNPC website indicate that production currently stands above 2.2 million barrels per day.
He said that the joint force had pursued its mandate in line with the strategic directive of Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin and made noticeable achievements in restoring peace to the hitherto restive region.
The community leader dismissed the protests by some Niger Delta groups in Abuja seeking the redeployment of the commander of the task force alleging that the protest was the handiwork of oil thieves.
“The present Commander of JTF, Rear-Admiral, Suleman has been achieving results and has proved to be a round peg in a round hole; his deployment at a time there was renewed restiveness was apt and strategic.
“The military high command got it right and Suleiman, being an operational officer who spends most of his time in the creeks, has brought his naval tactics to check militancy.
“For eight months, there has been no reported incident in the region, and it is rather strange that people could organise protest these glaring achievements that has improved oil revenue for the country,” he said.
Julius appealed to Niger Delta people to resist the temptation of becoming a tool of blackmail and accessory to oil theft and support the peace moves of the Federal Government.
He said that the present administration has shown commitment to repositioning the region as the oil and gas hub of the nation, noting that insecurity scared investors from the region in the past.
Julius noted that there is an urgent need reposition the Niger Delta region and change the perception of international investors that fled the region as a result of militancy and sustain the interest of investors coming back in droves.
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