We are civil in dealing with threats by militants in Niger Delta —Military

• Dickson dispels threat from Avengers

THE joint military force deployed in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, has said it will remain professional and civil in dealing with security threats by militant groups in the area.

Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, Commander of the joint operation, disclosed this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, adding that the deployment of troops and equipment noticed on Monday at Kaima in Bayelsa was part of normal operations to keep the region safe.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had reported that troops and military hardware were deployed in Kaima, following threats by a militant group to take control of the area.

Okojie, who briefed newsmen after a meeting with unit commanders within Operation Delta Safe in Yenagoa, said the military had the freedom to be in any part of the country.

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria belongs to all of us and the armed forces have the freedom to be at any part of Nigeria at any time, we are merely doing our normal duty within our mandate.

“We were in Kaima to show that Operation Delta Safe was on ground to ensure that the report by some faceless organisations about creating a ‘territory’ to themselves is not allowed to happen.

“The heavy presence being noticed in parts of the Niger Delta is part of our routine duties to guarantee the safety of law abiding people of Niger Delta and ensure atmosphere conducive for economic activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has asked political and opinion leaders across the state and the Niger Delta to show more understanding and cooperate with the security agencies in their current efforts at maintaining peace, law and order.

Dickson dispel the threat by the Adaka Boro Avengers to declare a republic and noted that the various security agencies acted promptly to put the situation under control.

He enjoined the various security agencies to collaborate with the government in sustaining the existing peace and security in the state.

The state Police Commissioner, Adeyemi Ogunjelimusi, advised youths in the region to look for legitimate means of livelihood, noting that it would not be business as usual for pipeline vandals and other criminal elements.

He reaffirmed the government’s determination to make the state safe and peaceful, stressing that non-state machineries would not be allowed to hijack the security of the state, while criminal acts would not be condoned.