Yenagoa - The Joint Military Force in the
Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, said on Sunday that it arrested five
suspected pipeline vandals and repelled a hijack attempt of a vessel by heavily
armed sea pirates.
Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Otuji, spokesman of the joint military
force, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa
Otuji said that the suspects were arrested between Oct. 17
and 18 near some oil wellheads at Apala, off Nana Creeks in Warri South Local
Government Area of Delta
“Troops of Operations Base 2 in Delta State, while on
anti-crude oil theft patrol on Oct. 17 and 18, intercepted pipeline vandals in
a large Cotonou and speed boats.
“Five suspected vandals were arrested and they confessed to
their plan to vandalise the wellheads. The two boats were recovered in the
“Similarly, troops of Operation Base 2 repelled a hijack of
a vessel (MT VAJARA) by heavily armed bandits in Ramos River, around Agge area
of Delta State.
“The criminals were repelled after fierce exchange of fire
with our troops of the maritime component,” he said.
He recalled that the force recently responded to distress
calls by some travelers who were attacked by sea pirates in Cross River and
Rivers, killing the suspected pirates and rescuing the victims.
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Otuji said that last week, other seven suspected pirates and
militants were killed in crossfire during rescue operations while the hostages
were freed unhurt.
He said that the force was committed to making the entire
Niger Delta and the waterways safe as Operation Delta Safe was working
tirelessly to secure the region.
He said the force had intensified patrols and raids on the
criminals’ hideouts and was poised to halt the renewed violence in the region
and restore peace for legitimate businesses to thrive.
The spokesperson told NAN that the successes recorded in the
ongoing military operation had raised the morale and commitment of the troops.
Otuji said that the timely and credible information from the
coastal communities led to the successes and commended them for cooperating
with the force.
He assured that if the support was sustained, the force
would soon flush out criminals from the Niger Delta.