Navy Launches Massive Operation to Secure N/Delta

25
16783
  • Action coming 48 hours after Buhari’s warning to vandals
  • Accuses Tompolo of being behind resurgence of N’Delta militancy
  • Osinbajo: Vandals as bad as terrorists

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

In response to the upsurge in piracy and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta region of the country, the Navy friday launched a massive operation to ensure effective security of the maritime sector of the nation.

The operation, which is code-named ‘Operation Tsare Teku’, is coming barely 48 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari issued a strong warning to deal decisively with the trouble makers in the region in the same manner the federal government is tackling the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Navy also indirectly accused former Niger Delta war-lord, Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo of masterminding the resurgence in militancy in the Niger Delta.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja, said that he had set up the Task Force Committee (headed by a Commodore) to handle the operation aimed at clearing the nation’s territorial waters of criminals.

Ibas who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP), Nigerian Navy (NN), Rear Adm. Henry Babalola, disclosed that seven Nigerian Naval Ships (NNS) would be involved in the operations.

He said that four had been deployed and they are: NNS Okpabana, NNS Kyanwa, NNS Sagbama, and NNS Andoni, while the remaining three naval ships would join the operation later on. These are NNS Centenary, NNS Burutu, and NNS Zaria.

The CNS said that the nation’s economy was feeling the bite of the piracy and other related criminal activities in the maritime area.

He warned that no serious country would tolerate the sabotage of the vital sectors of its economy and vowed that the region would be cleared of all criminal activities.

“As you are all aware, the jugular of the Nigeria economy is at the maritime area of Niger Delta. So, when we noticed an infringement in that area, it affects the economy of the nation.

“The CNS has inaugurated Operation Tsare Teku to clear the area of these miscreants. It’s to be headed by a Senior Flag Officer in the rank of Commodore,” he said.

Speaking further, Ibas observed that the criminal activities increased after some former Niger Delta militant leaders were declared wanted, in addition to the fact that the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) would soon end.

Even though, the Naval Chief did not mention names, his description of the major suspect behind the criminal activities pointed towards Tompolo, who has been declared wanted by the Federal Government.

The CNS stated that the Navy has measures in place to arrest the situation, having identified the two major hotspots in Brass and Bonny in Bayelsa and Rivers States respectively.

He said: “There is no nation in the world that will allow this to happen in its maritime domain. It’s not as if the Navy has not been doing anything all this while to secure our maritime environment. This is because we have had more ships in the maritime area than any other time. However, since January 14, 2016, we have had increased pirates activities and ship hijacks.

“In every society, we have criminal activities. However, you must note that up until January 11, 2016, we have had zero criminal activities but from January 14, this changed.

“Meanwhile, you are well aware that some persons were declared wanted (Tompolo) and we promised some actions. You know that it was no longer business as usual and coupled with the facts that the Amnesty programme is about winding up. So these criminal elements might have gone back to their activities.”

“The major thing is that the criminal groups have regrouped. We have localised these problems at two major areas, offshore Brass and offshore Bonny. These are two major areas we have been having the challenges,” he said.

The Naval Chief, while noting that Buhari’s pronouncement is for a larger military operations, clarified that the current operation was a purely NN initiative in line with its rules of engagement and scope of activities.

“This is not totally divorced from the matching orders the President gave but it is part of our statutory role. The order from Mr. President is for the whole armed forces. It’s not the kind of blind response to the Presidential pronouncement as we are guarded by rules of engagement,” he clarified.

Ibas also said that the Navy had been up to the task in policing the coastal areas of the country, collaboration with other neighbouring countries and international partners.

He disclosed that the NN recorded one of the biggest naval successes in the rescue of a Naval Ship Maximus, which was hijacked off the Ivoirian coast.

“We have arrested the pirates that hijacked the Maximus. We want to tell you that it was hijacked off the Coast of Cote D’Ivoire and we were alerted by the US and pursued it towards the tail end of Sao Tome & Principe. It was a big success that some countries were amazed that we could pull off such feat,” he said.

  • William Norris

    Here it goes !!!

  • Burbank

    About time.

    The navy must use deadly force against these terrorists, starting with Tompolo. The Air Force can score another goal with a John Togo- style airstrike on Tompolo, this time with the silent armed drones.

  • ALANI

    The National priority is to disarm Buhari’s herd’s men killing people and destroying properties all over Nigeria, looking for ‘grazing reserve’. Never in my backyard!
    The SS people alone can successfully police their oil. It belongs to them FIRST, and secondly to Nigeria. This Buhari bravado will achieve nothing without seeking the good will of the people.

  • AR

    Effort of the military should be concentrated on the North East with serious territorial challenges.

  • pius pumpum

    This is the problem with Nigeria…every issue is sentimentally tribalized or Religionalized please crime is crime whelther by fulani herdsmen,Niger Delta criminals or so called IPOB,this is why we hardly progress.This is the same nausea i felt when Segun Adeniyi in last weeks thursday verdict was berating the army for using his so called heavy handedness on the El Zakky group,people that take laws into their own hands forming a conclave that defy the laws of the land to the extent of challenging the Chief of Army staff on an official duty on a government road will you say they still deserve the right to be accorded the so called human right,in my opinion NO it is lost…we should be careful with our comments because they tacitly aid and abate terrorism and criminality….This is exactly how Boko Haram grew to a monster it is today,the same thing that lead Europe to the problem they find themselves today —political correctness and excessive liberalism.

    • nwoke

      Rubbish. Your argument is full of religional and tribal marks otherwise why mentioned IPOB when such has no known relation to issues of piracy in ND or fulani herdsmen or boko haram.

    • GabUm2

      The army should be capable of an objective proportional response to civilian challenges, rather than the indiscriminate, vindictive or premeditated genocidal orgy of killings against unarmed civilians. Even in wars no one is authorised to kill indiscriminately. The Army’s killing of shites in hundreds, under the published circumstances is unjustifiable. Yet in the same country Nigeria, armed herdsmen killed hundreds of civilians and the commander in chief and the army lifted no finger. Is all these not fishy enough to you?

      • Jakadiya

        There is difference between communal clash and daring a Chief of Army Staff.

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Don’t be silly,the COAS is a Nigerian subject to the same laws as you and me. Kaduna was not in a state of emergency and there was no martial law in place at the time.

          Buratai should have contacted the law enforcement and governor of the state instead of killing 700 unarmed citizens including hundreds of women and children.

          Buratai is a cowardly killer who must pay for his crimes against humanity.

          • Jakadiya

            Come out and block the COAS’s convoy. Other people will right in defence of your fundamental human rights and other constitutional provisions. At least, we’ll only miss your venomous contributions to society.

        • William Norris

          What is wrong with you? So the killing of HUNDREDS of civilians was a good response?

          Zaki Biam and Odi were also proper? And the recent massacre of IPOB protesters in Aba and Onitsha?

          Looks like Nigerians are their own worst enemies. What the hell…..

          • Jakadiya

            Continue to molest those who are given the mandate to protect you. If you’re not a cretin, how dare you question the Odi and Zaki Biam operations? So, some lunatics can just kill soldiers and run for protection under fundamental human rights?

          • William Norris

            OK, was ANY soldier harmed or killed by the Shiites?

            The Nigerian Army doesn’t protect Nigerians. What I know is they kill civilians and plan coups to destroy democratic government.

            It’s astounding how you can support the killing of HUNDREDS of people, most of whom were innocents.

          • Jakadiya

            Change your name to INNOCENT and dare a convoy of COAS or kill a few soldiers, your name will change to RIP.

          • William Norris

            Classic Nigerian. You never care about anything until your own are the victims.

          • Jakadiya

            They become their worst enemies when they start killing soldiers. They deserve more than death.

    • challeng

      You can hardly progress because Nigeria is cursed.

  • chukwujioke

    Ok. Unless Wike would commit suicide this time around

    • Okafor

      The code name: Operation Tsare Teku does not sound anything like from the south not to talk of the ND. Is Buhari carrying WAR to the Niger Delta? He is accusing Tompolo of masterminding, just as the IPOB were accused of killing named Fulanis. I can see very serious trouble brewing in the country. No mention has been made of the atrocities being committed by his Fulani cousins. By the end of this year we will know where are going.
      Trouble everywhere!

      • WilliamWilberforce

        We are not going anywhere my brother. The creek boys will be dealt with in Niger Delta. If the navy is not enough they will be bombarded from the air until they fall in line. Nothing will happen.

        • Sandra

          What about your rampaging and murderous herdsmen, killing and raping through the country? When their big Uncle deal with them? Your peoples obsession with ND crude will be your undoing!!!

          • WilliamWilberforce

            No hypertension please. Then Fulani herdsmen will also meet their waterloo. The police have already been ordered to clamp down on them.

          • Sandra

            But still, no word of condenmation from their big Uncle ??

          • nwoke

            That’s very civil of you in disguise. Police will look into the activities of fulani herdsmen and the poor farmers that were defending their sisters from the hands of those mumuhari kinsmen were arrested bt the soldiers. No good and sane countries started this way. Make sure you remember how it’s all started. Mine ten cents anyway.

        • Okafor

          At a time we will know where we are going. William, I know where are from but think about it. Is this the way a country be? Nothing is working and we force to believe that this govt is working.