Troops of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army have carried out more raids at the camps of militants in the Niger Delta.
They also continued with their show of force, patrols, as well as free medical outreach programmes in the region.
According to a source, the troops, on Monday, carried out a raid on suspected oil bunkerer and militant camps at Afiagbene, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, with the help of the Nigerian Navy helicopters, speed and gunboats.
During the raid, Nigerian Tribune learnt that the troops discovered two generators, a locally-made double barrel gun, a dane gun, three live cartridges, two pumping machines, one 32-inch LG television, one Kenwood amplifier and four 50 litres of liquid suspected to be crude oil, at Ayakoromo junction.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), during a night operation conducted on Tuesday, also successfully destroyed a new Boko Haram camp located between Malam Fatori and Kangarwa in Northern Borno.
The new camp is about four to six kilometres away from the terrorists’ location attacked earlier on August 20, 2016, by NAF Mi-17 helicopter within the same vicinity in a similar night operation that led to the death of about 300 insurgents.
The post-strike Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) mission had revealed that surviving BHTs converged on the new location.
The information was later affirmed by series of follow-up Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions that led to the latest strike.
The air assault, it was learnt, is, therefore, expected to further degrade the capability of the insurgents, while fostering the creation of the necessary enablement for ground troops to operate.
In another development, NAF Alpha Jets also repelled an attack by BHTs on troops of the 153 Battalion who were on fighting patrol at Ala Lumshe.
Meanwhile, members of the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) have defied the heavy presence of Nigerian troops in the Niger Delta region, claiming to have blown up the Ogor-Oteri delivery trunkline operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Shorelines in Delta State.
The economic sabotage, however, could not be confirmed from officials of NPDC as of the time of filing this report.
The group, in a statement signed by General Aldo Agbalaja and made available to journalists early on Tuesday, claimed that its Uproot Team B carried out the act at about 3.00 a.m.
The militant group also intimated its declaration of “Operation Crocodile Tears” to counter the ongoing military drill, tagged: “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the region.
It served a notice to workers in most oil and gas facilities operational in Urhobo land of the new offensive, enjoining them as well as residents in Warri and other oil-bearing areas to quit in their own interest.
“With the launch of their ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is also serving a notice on the commencement of our ‘Operation Crocodile Tears,” the statement said.
The group flayed the Federal Government for saying it was ready for dialogue while, in actual sense, it was launching an offensive against the region in the name of a training exercise.
On the Edwin Clark-led stakeholders’ peace and dialogue initiative, the group said it had no confidence in it, accusing some of the participants as creators of insurgency in the region.
Also, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the troops to order and asked them to halt further harassment and intimidation of innocent citizens.
Spokesperson of the umbrella body of all Ijaw youths worldwide, Eric Omare, in a statement issued on Tuesday, accused the troops of subjecting villagers in various communities in the creeks to impending hunger and fear.
“The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide called on military officers carrying out the military operation styled ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in the Niger Delta to stop the constant harassment and intimidation of innocent villagers along the Warri and Forcados Rivers in Delta State.
“For the past two days, villagers plying these rivers have been subjected to all sort of harassment and in some cases deprived from having access to their communities,” he said.