Port Harcourt - The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta has been absolved of having any hand in the oil crime in the area.
The outgoing Public Relations Officer, 2 Brigade Command, Port Harcourt, Capt. Sunny Samuel, made this known on Wednesday while handing over to the new image maker, Maj. Michael Etete.
The Rivers chapters of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had accused the JTF of aiding oil crime in the region.
The army image maker urged the two bodies to make public any evidence indicting any member of the JTF in such crime.
"I see the allegation as a way of diverting the attention of the taskforce from doing their duties.
"It is just worrisome that instead of commending the JTF for doing well, they are engaging in unnecessary smear campaign," he said.
Samuel said oil theft and other illegal activities in the region had reduced drastically due to the activities of the taskforce.
"Oil production has also been positively affected, this can not be achieved without the resilience of the JTF."