Friday, February 10, 2012

Defence hqtrs threatens Delta communities over bombing suspects

Winning hearts and minds?

9 February 2012

ABUJA – Defence headquarters, yesterday, told communities in the Niger Delta to volunteer information that would lead to the arrest of the militants who carried out the bombing of the Agip pipeline or risk collateral damage from Joint Task Force, JTF, clampdown.

It gave the warning just as it announced the discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition, including 10 AK-47 rifles, 27 assault rifles and 29 rounds of ammunition, 26 magazines, 107 rounds of 7.22mm special gun, in one of the residential areas in Mariri area of Kano State. Other finds were one tear gas gun, five wallets, one Nigerian international passport, two police identity cards, one brief case and three GSM handsets.

Addressing the media on present security developments in the country, Joint Security Information Managers Committee gave the names of the suspects as Friday Burutu, Lord Onipa, Robinson Agagudu, Eyala Karo, Stanley Uduorie, Para Ekiyes and Rasmus Omukoro.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Director of Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, said: “JTF Operation Pulo Shield, has noted with concern, the statement purportedly issued by MEND on the attack on Agip pipeline on February 4.

“JTF condemns the attack in view of all that it portends for the region. JTF wishes to observe that not too long ago, the Niger Delta region was almost plunged into the abyss by agitation for the development of the region.

“JTF observes further that the Federal Government reacted to this genuine aspiration by embarking on programmes aimed at addressing the human development and infrastructural deficits that existed. These programmes are ongoing and verifiable.

“Unfortunately, people who were never part of the agitation have emerged and want to claim amnesty and its benefits by force. It should be noted that it is not possible to run an infinite amnesty programme.

“Consequently, JTF advises Niger Deltans to be mindful of people who are out to swindle them by wrongfully appropriating the identity of the erstwhile leadership of MEND to scurry sympathy for their selfish and criminal interest.

“Therefore, JTF calls on all the good people of the Niger Delta to rise up and join security agencies to defeat the evil that is rearing its head, by giving timely and accurate information on these charlatans through the usual channels.

“However, JTF warns there could be collateral damage, if individuals and communities decide to provide sanctuary to these enemies of the society.”

The committee also announced that Operation Pulo Shield, using NNS Thunder, arrested a cargo ship, MT Fakoradi, at Escravos for illegal bunkering activities

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