A new militant group in Nigeria’s south-south, that calls itself the ‘Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate’ has asked residents living near oil and gas infrastructure to vacate their homes to avoid being caught in its next attacks.
The Defence Headquarters in a statement on Tuesday said that the group had few days ago claimed responsibility for an attack on an oil pipeline of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“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 read.
Ensuring Adequate Security
It further said that the spate of how various militant groups were springing up in Niger Delta, was disturbing, warning them to stop fanning the ember of war.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to state, in clear term, 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.
“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 ember of war.
“The military and other security agencies would remain focused, un-intimidated and will display professionalism in ensuring adequate security to lives and property,” the statement by the spokesman for the defence Headquarters, Rabe Abubakar, read.
The military further pointed out that it respects the Government’s negotiation with relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta and that the military exercise and operations in the area are not targeted at any group or meant to make life difficult for the inhabitants.
“The ongoing exercise is geared towards enhancing civil-military relationship and building the confidence of the resident 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,” armed forces said.
It also reiterated the commitment of the military and other security agencies to ensuring security of lives and property, not only in the Niger Delta, but throughout the federation.
The Nigerian Armed Forces further solicited the cooperation of all the stakeholders, including the royal fathers, leaders and youths to bring back peace in the region.
It urged residents of the Niger Delta region that the militants had asked to leave to discountenance the threat and also requested that innocent citizens and those in the area to go about their legitimate businesses.
The military had established different operations in the region to counter militants activities that have affected the nation’s crude oil output.
Officials of two military operations launched in the region, Operation Delta Safe and Exercise Crocodile Smile, are currently in the region, making efforts to end attacks on oil installations.
The military operation, however, suffered a major setback yesterday when a boat carrying some officials capsized, leaving some officials dead.