National News

Niger Delta: No Mercy For Criminals, Says New JTF Commander

…asked criminals to repent or vacate region

The new Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS), Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, said at the weekend that Akinrinade said the outfit under his command would show no mercy to oil thieves, pirates and other criminals in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking on Sunday when he took over from the outgoing commander of JTF, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, at the outfit’s headquarters in Igbogene, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Akinrinade, asked criminals to repent or vacate the region.

While thanking the outgoing commander for his leadership style, Akinrinade assured the public that he would only add a proactive driven effort to curb all forms of criminalities and their networks.

One of these strategies, he explained, is strengthening the synergy and coercion among the various units, components and formations of the task force.

In his remarks, Rear Admiral Suleiman, the immediate past Commader, said the operation under his command has destroyed and dislodged major militant camps in the Niger Delta, thereby boosting security in the region.

He said the relative peace in the command had greatly increased crude oil production index of the country, which has risen remarkably from a mere 900 barrels per day in 2016 to over two million barrels per day.

According to Suleiman, the increase is due to the serious checks against oil pipeline vandalism in the region.

“When I came here in 2016, there were issues of militancy all over my joint operation area,” he said.

“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 of today, that camp at Amoputu is closed.”

Suleiman has been posted to Defence Headquarters, Abuja, as Chief of Defence Administration.

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