‘Don’t withdraw troops from N/Delta’

The South South Reawakening Group (SSRG) has urged the Federal Government to ignore calls for the withdrawal of troops from the Niger Delta region.

Convener of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, said in Warri that people of the region were the architects of the deployment of troops to the area and therefore should be ready to bear the brunt.

“On the call for the withdrawal of the military from the region, we say NO.

“SSRG supports the militarisation of the region as this has brought some sanity and safety of lives and property. It is only those who have something to hide that are uncomfortable with the presence of the military.

“If we follow due process and employ civilised means of ventilation of grievances, there would have been no need for the military to be deployed to the region.

“We invited them and therefore we have to endure the pains and discomfort that come with it,” the SSRG boss averred at a forum held in Warri to mark the 56th Independence Anniversary of the country.

He noted: “what should be paramount in our hearts is the overall development of the area which is gradually taking place with the approval and establishment of an army battalion formation in Bayelsa, and Agbarotor in Delta State as well as the establishment of a marine police training school in Bayelsa State.”

Describing the institutions as agents of development, Ambakederimo further urged President Buhari to approve the establishment of another military formation in the Bonny axis of Rivers State and the Escravos axis in Delta State.

According to him, “this will unarguably forestall and bring to minimum the activities of criminal elements,” in the region.

It will be recalled that heavy military deployment came on the heels of resurgence of destruction of oil and gas installations and freedom agitations by militant groups in the region which has brought the country to its knees economically.