• Denies arrest of colleagues
• Army trains NSCDC personnel to protect pipelines
Militants under the aegis of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have dared the military to engage them in the creeks where they live.The militants, who said the army and navy should stop looking for them in towns and cities, accused the security personnel of arresting and killing innocent people in the Niger Delta in the guise of looking for members of the NDA.
According to the Avengers, military harassment of towns and villages in the Niger Delta persists because they have not confronted the Nigerian military in battle.The NDA denied the claim by the Commander of the Nigerian Navy, NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunye, that the security agents arrested two of its “active members,” Stanley Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye, who allegedly assisted in the bombing of Chevron’s facilities in Delta State. The militant group said the two suspects were agents of the security agencies, not members of NDA.
The Spokesman of the group, Brig-Gen. Agbinibo Mudoch, yesterday said: “We made it clear that the Nigerian military is using sleepers’ agents to track or checkmate the activities and operation of the Niger Delta Avengers, but the more they try, the more they run into crisis with their employed sleeper agents. Stanley Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye that were arrested and paraded by the Nigerian Navy are among the sleeper agents working for the Nigerian military and were paid N5 million to give Nigerian military intelligence on the activities of NDA.
“On failing to deliver, the suspects were arrested and tagged NDA members. What a shame?Tonghan and Miyenminiye are not members of NDA, we don’t know or have any connection with them. The Commander of NNS Delta, Warri, Commodore Joseph Dzunye, is trying to impress his boss in Abuja by arresting sleeper agents recruited by his predecessor. Any criminal arrested is now an NDA member.”
Mudoch claimed that since the NDA started the struggle, none of its operatives has been arrested. All those in detention in the name of NDA, according to him, are not part of NDA.The Avengers accused the Buhari-led government of not being “reliable, reasonable, responsible and ready to dialogue,” urging the elders of the region to stop acting like they were begging the government for dialogue.
The militants said the worst the government would do is to bombard villages and towns in the name of looking for NDA, warning the elders to tread carefully with the Nigeria government.
They said the creeks of the Niger Delta belonged to them and that defeating the Nigeria military would not be hard for them. “We have made it clear on many occasions that our business is to cripple the Nigeria economy, not to kill military. The Nigeria military should not view the NDA’s efforts to avoid them as a sign of weakness,” the group said.
Meanwhile, the Acting General Officer Commanding of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu has said the training of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) personnel is to police pipelines and provide security for oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin of Borno State.Ezugwu disclosed this at the weekend during the passing out ceremony of 93 civil defence personnel at the Maimalari Cantonment Youth Centre in Maiduguri.
According to him, the training of the NSCDC personnel on “weapon handling” is to implement the directive of the Nigerian Army Headquarters for the division.He said that the two-week training was also to increase the capacity of security agencies in the state, especially as the military is drawing down on its operations in the North East sub-region.
“This special training in weapon handling, will prepare the civil defenders for their constitutional responsibilities.“The President and Commander in Chief has given a directive that the Lake Chad region should be exploited for oil reserve and other natural resources that will enhance the economy of the country.
“We have organised this training because one of the paramount objectives and duties of the civil defenders is to police the pipelines and provide security for oil exploration activities,” he added.