Just two days after the visit of Nigeria’s Defence Minister and the Chief of Defence Staff to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the heads of various units of the military have converged in the city to review their operational strategy, SaharaReporters gathered on Tuesday.
A relatively unknown militant group, Adaka Boro Avengers, had announced last week it planned to declare a Niger Delta Republic yesterday, the first day of August. That turned out to be a hoax, but it was enough to have sent the military into red alert, resulting in the massive deployment of men and materials to respond to any situation.
Operation Delta Safe, the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, pledged on Tuesday to remain professional and civil in dealing with security threats by militant groups in the region.
Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, Commander of the operation, said the deployment of troops and equipment that was noticed on Monday in Kaima, in Bayelsa, was part of normal activities aimed at keeping the region safe.
He was speaking during a media briefing in Yenagoa following a meeting with Unit Commanders within Operation Delta Safe.
He stressed that Nigeria belongs to all, and that the armed forces have the freedom to be at any part of Nigeria at any time, and are merely operating within their mandate.
“We were in Kaima to show that Operation Delta Safe was on the ground to ensure that the report by some faceless organizations 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 the Niger Delta and ensure a conducive atmosphere for economic activities.”
He expressed the confidence that nobody was molested or intimidated during the exercise, and pledged that there is no cause for alarm.
Okojie further explained that the meeting with Component Commanders of Operation Delta Safe was to review the achievements of the operation to ensure that they were mission-oriented.
Meanwhile, the Adaka Boro Avengers have said that their planned declaration has merely been postponed