Troops of the Joint Tasks Force code named “Operation Delta Safe” have arrested 44 suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Bayelsa State in southern Nigeria.
A statement by the Coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, revealed that troops of Sector 2, Operation Delta Safe in Bayelsa State made the arrest acting on intelligence.
He said that the troops trailed a group of people which led to the arrest of the 44 persons at Lakeview Club along Mabinton Estate, Okaka road in Yenagoa the capital of the state..
The statement further said that the arrest was in fulfilment of the troops mandate to rid the Niger Delta region of crude oil theft, sea robbery, all forms of criminality and protection of oil and gas infrastructure.
The group, according to the troops was planning to establish Bayelsa State Chapter of the banned IPOB group and disrupt public peace within the State.
In another operation in Cross river state, troops of Sector 4 of Operation Delta Safe also discovered four shrines suspected to be that of militants with 23 human skulls in various stages of decomposition.
They found a complete human skeleton and several other human body parts in the four shrines discovered during clearance operations in the State.
The shrine was discovered while carrying out a raid in Ikot Ene Idem, Abakpa and Ikang Inam in Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas of Cross River State.
Two suspects were arrested while on patrol at Idebe Ifak Anam, Ikot Okon Edem and Abakpa of Bakassi Local Government Area in Cross River State.
The statement says Preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested suspects were agents of Bakassi Strike Force Militants who act as spies.
In another operation, troops of Sector 3, Operation Delta Safe in Rivers State, following a distress call from Finima in Bonny of an attack by some cult members using AK 47 riffles to terrorise members of the community, raided the hideout of the cultist.
The suspected king pin popularly referred to as Eagle Face dived into the river on sighting troops.
Two of the suspected cult members were arrested while one locally made pistol, one machete and two handsets were recovered.
According to the military statement, the body of the suspected king pin was later seen floating in the creeks by locals who recovered and buried the corpse at Bonny River bank.
The Acting Commander of the Tasks Force, Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe, has reassured residents and oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of their safety and advised that they should go about their legitimate businesses.
Militant activities had resurged in the Niger Delta region last year, with militants attacking oil installations in the region.
A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.
They had said they agreed to a ceasefire and would begin negotiation with the Federal Government but later resumed attacks, claiming it was launched as a warning to the military to stop harassing youths in the Niger Delta.