Image

Avengers: Military Deploys Helicopters In Niger Delta, Destroys Oil Storage

Nigerian-Air-Force
                                 Nigerian Air Force helicopter

Olaleye Aluko and Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri

Residents of Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, and home town of wanted former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, in the Warri South West Local Government  Area of Delta State, were on Tuesday thrown into panic when they saw two military helicopters hovering round the community.

It was gathered that the helicopters  were first sighted by the residents at 10am and flown for about 30 minutes before leaving the community.

The PUNCH gathered that the aircraft returned for the second time at noon causing residents, some of who feared that soldiers were coming to invade the community, to panic and flee into the swampy neighbouring bush for cover.

Local sources who confirmed the development to one of our correspondents, appealed to the Federal Government to caution the military in order to avoid another invasion of the community over the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers.

Investigation showed that the Nigerian military had deployed more soldiers in the creeks of Gbaramatu and the Escravos River, including Burutu, to check the activities of militants and to prevent their planned attack on oil and gas facilities.

A military source, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents, saying that they were only carrying out aerial surveillance of the area, in response to the threat by the NDA.

Also confirming the development, the spokesman for the Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, called on the Federal Government not to turn Gbaramatu Kingdom into a theatre of war, adding that no militant is taking cover in their communities.

Gbenekama, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Warri, said, “Military helicoptershave been hovering round our communities in Gbaramatu kingdom since morning (Tuesday).

He said, “Gbaramatu people are not at war with the Federal Government. Why is it that anytime there is crisis in Bayelsa or Rivers states, the first port of call is Gbaramatu? We are just one of the many communities in the Niger Delta. We don’t deserve this siege. We have been championing peace since 2009, but every time military men are drafted to Gbaramatu.

“While we appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to sheathe their swords, we don’t know the rationale behind the deployment of troops and gun boats to Gbaramatu creeks. We don’t want what happened in 2009 and 2016 to happen again. So, let the military restrain their men from our villages. We don’t harbour militants. Avengers are not resident in Gbaramatu Kingdom.”

Efforts to speak with the Sector 1 Commander, Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, Col. Alhassan Grema, by one of our correspondents were unsuccessful.

Also, repeated calls to the spokesperson for the JTF, Maj. Ibrahim Abdulahi, for clarification were not connecting.

However, reacting to the alleged military movement into Gbaramatu, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the helicopters were 0n routine patrol along the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

Dewu said, “What they are speculating as military deployment is routine patrol along the Escravos and the Trans Forcados Pipeline. Once we sense any security concern on that line, our men usually move in to patrol the area. Nobody is deploying any gunboat or jets to specific communities. It is a normal patrol.”

Meanwhile, a Nigerian Air Force armed helicopter, EC-135, has bombed suspected illegal oil barges and storage facilities at Adokiakiri community in the Niger Delta, as the ceasefire announced by the NDA entered the fifth day.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said on Tuesday that the stolen oil storage facilities were sighted in the community during an “armed reconnaissance” on Sunday and subsequently destroyed.

The NAF noted that the military remained resolute in making oil theft in the region unprofitable.

The NDA had on Friday announced an immediate end to its ceasefire with the Federal Government. The group also accused the government of being insincere despite the commitment by the leaders of the region to broker peace.

The NDA said through its spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, that the FG was only interested in the oil in the region.

The NAF spokesman said, “The air force has destroyed some oil barges, containing stolen oil products at Adokiakiri community in the Niger Delta.  The illegal oil barges and storage facilities were spotted by the NAF EC-135 helicopter during an armed reconnaissance mission. They were all subsequently destroyed. The NAF remains resolute in making oil theft and illegal bunkering unprofitable.”

Meanwhile, the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has appealed to the NDA to drop its recent threat to resume attacks on oil installations in the region.

Uduaghan, who spoke on Tuesday, said, “I am appealing for caution in the handling of the renewed threat by the Niger Delta Avengers. I am appealing to the Niger Delta Avengers to drop the threat, and also the Federal Government to continue on the path of engagement.

“The issues raised from the various peace movements by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of the Federal Government that brought some calm should be seriously addressed. We must all support the Acting Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who has been managing the renewed threat.”     (Punch)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

BIAFRA: Biafran National Guard Launches ‘Operation Python Cry’ |The Republican news

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

A pro-Biafran group, Biafra National Guard (BNG), yesterday, launched what it called ‘Operation Python Cry’ as it called on the Federal Government to release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafrans agitators in detention.

The group said it supported IPOB and the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) for their divine struggle.

It vowed not to relent in its struggle until the restoration of Biafra.

Read more:Restoration Of Biafra’s Sovereignty Is Justified Under International Law And Practice—Especially With The Ongoing Ethnic-inspired Killings- US Constitutional Lawyer

A statement by the Public Relations Officer of BNG, Mr. Ruben Okoro also called for the coalition, alliance and unity of all the pro-Biafran groups as one big indivisible and unbreakable bunch of broom  to sweep all the internal and external enemies away.

“Let’s forget our leadership tussles; rather, let’s go like our fathers by casting lots and inquiring to find out from our gods who our fearless David is who holds our Offor Biafra, that is Biafra’s symbol of authority.

“This will help us confront and wage this war against our today’s Goliath and Pharaoh.

“Our Biafran fathers fought only a war of self-defence from 1967-1970, but we Biafran youths will fight both offensive and defensive war to make the entire Biafraland safe.

“We now launch Operation Python Cry and hereby urge the Federal Government to release Kanu,  Orji, Onwuka and other Biafra freedom fighters in jail.

“This must be done  as quickly as possible on or before January ending, or else, all the  pythons that are now dancing, will turn around and cry.

Read more: IPOB Declares “Operation David Dance” Response To “Operation Python Dance” |The Republican News

“To guard, defend and protect  Biafraland and its territorial integrity is a task that must be done,” the statement said.

The BNG’s ‘Operation Python Cry is a parody of the Federal Government’s Operation Python Dance, a multi-agency security exercise launched in the South East to curb crime in the area during the Yuletide.

While launching the one-month military operation   that ended on December 27, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division Enugu, Col Sagir Musa, said the prevailing security issues in the region informed the decision for the launch.  (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading