By Chimezie Godfrey
The Nigerian Military has recovered crude worth N277.3million from oil thieves in the Niger-Delta region of the country.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, Major General Musa Danmadami disclosed this on Thursday during the bi-weekly briefing on the successes recorded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the fight against insecurity and other criminal activities across the 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria.
Danmadami said troops of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe and other operations in the South-South region of the country have continued to sustain the war against oil theft, illegal refineries and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta through aggressive patrols, raids and clearance operations amongst other activities.
He said operations were conducted at the creeks, waterways, high sea, towns and cities of Bayelsa, Delta, River State, Cross River and Akwa Ibom state respectively, which yielded significant results.
He said,”Notably, on 18 and 20 March 2023, troops on patrol within Igbematoro – Kolama water ways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and Owa Aleru village in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State responded to a kidnap incident but no contact was made. Troops exploited the area and recovered 1 AK47 rifle and 2 magazines loaded with 60 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 1 locally made pistol, 1 cartridge, 70 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 cutlasses and 4 mobile phones amongst other sundry items.
“Equally, on 19 March 2023, troops responded to election disruption within Ogbakiri community in Emouha Local Government Area of Rivers State and made contact with armed thugs and arrested 12 armed thugs. Troops also recovered 4 AK47 rifles, 1 FN rifle, 4 AK47 magazines, 1 pistol loaded with 2 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 1 pump action gun, 4 cartridges, 16 rounds of 7.62mm special and 1 hilux vehicle.
“Additionally, troops of Operation of DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP and Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO within the weeks in focus discovered and destroyed 107 illegal refining sites, 140 storage tanks, 58 reservoirs, 151 ovens, 68 dugout pits and 22 wooden boats.
“Troops equally recovered 561,200 litres of crude oil, 119,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 1 fibre boat, 5 pumping machines, 2 outboard engines, 10 new geepee tanks, 1 tricycle and 6 vehicles while a total of 9 suspected criminals were apprehended.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over the appropriate authority for further action. It is worth mentoring that the sum of Two Hundred and Seventy Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Naira (N277,357,800.00) only was denied oil thieves.”
Danmadami conveyed the military high command commendations on the unrelenting efforts of troops and other security agencies in the various theatres of operations across the country.
He appreciated the media community for their partnership and continued cooperation with the military and other security agencies, in “our quest to restore peace and security to our dear country”.
Danmadami also appreciated the entire populace for the support given to the members of the Armed Forces and other security agencies in the conduct of “our various operations across the country, while also urging them to continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of terrorists and other criminal elements, in their respective areas”.