By Christian Ogbonna
The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) code-named “Operation Delta Safe” says it has destroyed and dislodged major militant camps in the Niger Delta, thereby boosting security in the region.
Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the outgoing JTF Commander, said this on Sunday in Yenagoa, at the handing over ceremony of the mantle of leadership to the new Commander, Rear Admiral Akingide Akinrinade.
Suleiman added that the crude oil production index of the country had also increased remarkably since 2016 when he assumed office as commander.
According to him, the increase is due to the serious check against oil pipeline vandalism in the region.
“When I came here in 2016, there were issues of militancy all over my joint operation area, but diligently, we have taken out the major militant camps in the Niger Delta region.
“We have dislodged militant camps at Karawei in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
“The Bakassi strike force in Cross River, Lobia 1, 2 and 3 in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and Lowasiri camps in Bayelsa were strong bases of militants and kidnappers.
“We have also dislodged militants in Etim Ekpo/Ukanafun Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom and restored peace to the areas.
“The Asuzuama set of militants in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Baylesa were all dislodged.
“We tracked down Don Wayne eventually, because of the pressure of our operational activities; he ran into the hands of another security group that eventually took him out.
“As at today, that camp at Amoputu is closed,” he stated.
Suleiman, who has been posted to Defence Headquarters, Abuja, as Chief of Defence Administration, tasked JTF personnel to support the new commander to ensure security of the region.
He welcomed the new JTF boss and urged him to work harder to sustain and improve on the achievements so far made in the region.
Earlier, the new commander said he was posted to add more value to what was on ground in safeguarding oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta.