• Group decries linking of Jonathan to Avengers
Operation Delta Save yesterday paraded three suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), who allegedly killed four soldiers at Nembe, Bayelsa State.Two suspects, Commander of the task force, Real Admiral Joseph Okojie said, were killed during an exchange of fire with troops.
Briefing newsmen at the headquarters of the operation in Igbogene, Bayelsa State, Okojie, said a coordinated patrol raided the militants’ hide out at Saraba Creek, near Okiama community in Okigbene, Southern Ijaw Local Government Council.
“This followed an earlier raid of August 13 where several items, including the military gunboat taken away from the murdered soldiers at Nembe.”Parading the three, Okojie said the mop-up operation on the militant camp at Epebu creek in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, led to the discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition. These, he said include nine AK 47 rifles, one FN rifle, four HK21 MG, one G3 MG, and three GPMGs, among several ammunition, magazines and gun powder.
Okojie said the operations were done professionally as there was no collateral damage. It added that the military outfit, which has been charged to return peace to the troubled Niger Delta, would continue to sustain this approach in line with global best practices.
Okojie said, “Let me affirm the commitment of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Save of its resolve to ensure peace and economic stability in the region.One of the paraded suspects, Austin Dikuro, who said he was the second in command in the militant group, confessed to his involvement in the attack and killing of the soldiers, saying it was his ‘commander’ that asked them to open fire on the soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Genuine Democracy in Nigeria (MGDN) has condemned attempts to link former president Goodluck Jonathan with the Niger Delta Avengers. It said the Federal Government should disregard the ploy by unpatriotic individuals and groups to implicate the former national leader.
The statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of MGDN, Mr. Jonah Ishaku and Shuaibu Lawal respectively, wondered: “Does it make sense to use Dr. Jonathan’s denial as the desperate proof to nail him as sponsor of NDA? And how preposterous can this intelligence report be?The MGDN said the claim could only come from unintelligent persons.