Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has issued a statement addressing the proliferation of militant groups in the troubled oil-rich region of southern Nigeria, the Niger Delta.
The military headquarters of the country said that the groups were “hiding under regional agitation to commit all manner of crimes and atrocities.
A statement issued by Rabe Abubakar, e-mailed to The Trent on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 by Acting Director of Defence Information, named the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate and denounced the group for calling for evacuation of the residents of communities with oil and gas installations
Brigadier-General Abubakar noted that the group claimed responsibility for blowing up an NNPC pipelines recently and that “The same group has come out again, demanding residents living near oil and gas infrastructure to vacate their homes to avoid being caught in its next attacks,” the statement noted.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to state, in clear terms, that no group or individual has the right to threaten or force residents in any part of Nigeria to abandon their homes in obeisance to certain group’s selfish and devilish interest,” the statement added.
According to the Defence Headquarters, “It is more worrisome that despite the federal government’s olive branch to broker peace and proffer solution to the lingering Niger Delta problem, some groups are still fanning the embers of war.”
DHQ declared that the military and other security agencies would remain focused, un-intimidated and will display professionalism in ensuring adequate security to lives and property.
“While the Armed Forces respect the government’s negotiation with relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta, the military exercise and operations in the area are not targeted at any group or meant towards making lives difficult for the inhabitants,” the statement said.
“The ongoing exercise is geared towards enhancing civil-military relationship and building the confidence of the residents on the ability of the military to protect them. The exercise also demonstrates the strength of the troops to purge the region of criminals and economic saboteurs. The Armed Forces would not tolerate any form of criminality in that region.
“The military and other security agencies wish to therefore re-affirm their total commitment to ensure security of lives and property, not only in the Niger Delta, but throughout the federation.
“We also solicit the cooperation of all the stakeholders, including the royal fathers, leaders and youths to achieve this feat. We urge public, especially those residing in the Niger Delta, to discountenance the threat and request innocent citizens and those domiciled therein to go about their legitimate businesses,” General Abubakar said.