Troops of Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS), has dislodged unrepentant militants from their various camps in the creeks of Bayelsa and Cross River states.
The troops, it was gathered, stormed many creeks in the Niger Delta region, destroying illegal refineries and clamping down on suspected oil thieves in a widened onslaught against oil-related crimes.
The troops were said to have discovered and destroyed an active militant camp at the creeks of Isunkiri in Bayelsa.
They reportedly recovered items such as two laptops, a hammer, Philippino currency note and coins, one plasma TV, one DVD player, saw blades, four Motorola hand held radios, two R2 GMDS radios and four mobile phones.
Others are five radio chargers, five motorola Radio batteries and one foreign ATM card, two sim cards, one civil helmet, pair of fire-fighting uniform, one GMI radio and documents/identity cards belonging to one Mr Roberto Bacariza Jr (Philippino).
The troops also found civil clothes, four pairs of Swire pacific offshore overall uniform, two boxes of drugs, two foreign passports, one ladder, one blue colour speed boat mounted with 115 Horse power with inscription VIP on it and one 75 Horse power engine, light blue coloured fibre.
The Media Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC), Lt. Col. Olaolu Dauda, confirmed the development and said a similar raid took place at creeks in Cross River.
He said following a tip-off, troops dismantled a militant camp at Harrison Kiri, Liberty, Evil forest, Virgin forest, Opuru fishing port, Wangwa fishing port and Zion city.
“At Harrison camp, suspected militant fled on sighting troops. They are being trailed. Similarly, troops raided Bukuma Jetty and arrested three suspected militants and one Cotonou boat laden with illegally refined Automated Gas Oil”, he said.
Dauda also confirmed that troops of ODS widened the scope of its war against oil theft and other criminal activities in all the states of the region.
In Bayelsa, he said: “Troops on anti-illegal bunkering operations in Obi creek Epelepele Community of Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State discovered and destroyed a bunkering camp.
“Following a tip off, Mr Kelly Ikurusi, Mr Dokubo Erempagamo, Mr Orifie Borto and Mr George Friday AKA Yellow 1 were arrested. Yellow 1 is said to be among the militants who attacked and killed own troops on 8 August 2016 at Nembe. The four suspects are undergoing preliminary investigations.
“Troops while on foot patrol discovered suspected criminal hideout around Biogbolo Secondary School in Yenagoa metropolis.
“The area was cordoned and subsequently searched. Troops also discovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) placed on a riser with the intention of blasting it. The IED was diffused as troops provided security.
“Troops also discovered an illegal refinery site at Borokiri general area where bunkerers engage in massive loading of illegally refined AGO. One container truck with registration number AWK 119 ZL loaded with 50 drums concealed behind bags of flours were impounded.
“Toops while on anti-illegal bunkering operations at Adokeye Amah general area in Okrika discovered three illegal oil refining sites with 25 cooking pots and two large tank farms.
“Items recovered include; three pumping machines and two welding machines. Also troops discovered reactivated illegal oil refineries which were destroyed”.
Dauda disclosed that the Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE foiled a kidnap attempt by gunmen led by the suspected leader of a cult group popularly referred to as “Icelander” at Entebe community in Akwa Ibom State.
He said the gunmen on sighting the Naval gunboats, fled the scene.
He said: “It was also reported that sea robbers operating from Eastern Obolo attacked and kidnapped unspecified number of persons on a ship at sea. Troops of NNS JUBILEE are on the trail of the kidnappers for possible rescue.
“Also troops at FOB FORMOSO stationed at Nembe creek repelled saboteurs who tried to vandalize and steal a control unit from a Well Head 72 operated by AITED Company. Vandals abandoned their tools on sighting troops.
“Operation Delta Safe will continue to ensure sanity of the Niger Delta Region as law abiding members of the public go about their legitimate daily businesses.
“The Acting Commander Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe wishes to appreciate members of the public for their continuous cooperation, timely provision of information to troops and re-assure residents and oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of their safety as they go about their legitimate businesses”.