The Defence Headquarters has described as disturbing the spate at which various militant groups are springing up in the Niger Delta hiding under regional agitation to commit all manners of crimes and atrocities.
It warned 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.
This warning is coming on the heels of the latest militant group: the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) that claimed responsibility for blowing up NNPC oil pipeline few days ago.
The Director, Defence Information (DDI) Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar said in Abuja that the military will not hesitate to clamp down on any group if they refused to sheath the sword and allow peace to reign noting that the same group had come out again, demanding residents living near oil and gas infrastructure to vacate their homes to avoid being caught in its next attacks.
He explained that it was worrisome that despite Federal Government’s olive branch to broker peace and profer solution to the lingering Niger Delta problem, some groups are still fanning the ember of war.
He added, “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 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.
“The military and other security agencies 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,” Gen Abubakar reiterated