Military Deploys 3,000 Soldiers In Niger Delta

At least 3,000 soldiers have so far been deployed in the Niger Delta as Nigeria’s security agencies ramp up the war against militancy in the region, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, disclosed on Tuesday.

This came as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Tuesday alleged an attempt by the military to cover up the death of 16 soldiers in Delta State, four days after ‘Operation Crocodile Smile.’ was launched in the region.

The army chief spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, just as the military moved to douse the tension occasioned by the massive movement of troops in the region, assuring communities in the area that the ongoing military exercise codenamed, ‘Operation Crocodile Smile,’ was designed to protect them.

Buratai’s comments yesterday were made against the backdrop of allegations that the military had embarked on harassing and brutalising innocent residents along the coastlines, an accusation that the security forces have always refuted.

The CAS, who spoke at the Government House when he visited Governor Seriake Dickson, told the communities to remain calm, stressing that troops involved in the exercise understood the rules of engagement and would strictly adhere to them.

He added that the visit was necessary as part of the operation’s confidence-building, maintaining that
the current exercise was meant to equip the soldiers with required skills to ensure the safety of the maritime environment for Bayelsa and other states of the Niger Delta.
The army chief, who was accompanied by other military commanders including the Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, said the exercise was part of the amphibious training activities of the military.

Read More: thisdaylive

NSCDC Destroys 450 Illegal Refineries, Arrests 3000 Vandals

The commandant general, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC),  Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu said the corps has destroyed about 450 illegal refineries,  arrested over 3,000 vandals and confiscated a lot of vehicles which were forfeited by the court and auctioned off since he assumed office in July, 2015.

The NSCDC boss who stated this when he played host to the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru , requested that the corps  be assisted with arms and equipment that will enable them  combat pipeline vandalism in the country.

The CG stated that with adequate capacity, the NSCDC could eradicate the incidence of vandalism of critical infrastructure such as power line, pipeline, telecoms base station and other national assets.

The CG said rather than give them money, the agency would appreciate corporation’s assistance, noting that the agency lacked sophisticated equipment, particularly arms, adding that pipeline vandals who operate as syndicates are well armed.

Read More: leadership

Over 3000 IDPs Stranded In Recaptured Borno Communities

More than 3000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are said to be stranded without food, water and shelter after the Nigerian Army recaptured Rann and other surrounding communities of Borno state from Boko Haram terrorists recently.

Troops of newly-inducted 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade, in conjunction with Army Headquarters Strike Group (AHQ SG) and the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF), carried out a clearance operation of Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge, a border community with Cameroun Republic and about 200 km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital.

The gallant troops cleared the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists hibernating in Kala Balge general area. The triumphant troops apart from killing 22 terrorists cleared pockets of the terrorists in Wumbi, Tunish, Tilem and Malawaji. Others are Makaudari, Daima, Buduli, Sadigumo, Jiwe, Sidigeri and Kala villages.

But sources said Correspondent that after the clearance operations that over 3000 people mostly women and children, who survived the onslaught were now taking refuge at Kala Balge without means of having food or water, as there were no presence of officials from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) or Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to render humanitarian services following inaccessibility.

Confirming the development, Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Hon. Usman Zannah in an interview expressed concern on the plights of the stranded victims and promised that Government is taking immediate measures to address the myriads of problems being faced by the trapped innocent civilians in Kala Balge.

“We just received a message that more than 3000 people mostly women and children are stranded after the liberation of Kala Balge and other surrounding villages, we have started mobilizing security operatives, SEMA officials and members of the civilian JTF to deliver relief materials to them as soon as possible.”

Credit: vanguardngr