Operation Delta Safe: Why Expectations are High in Niger Delta Now


Sunday Okobi
Concerned Professionals Congress (CPC) yesterday stated that expectations are high as the reinvigorated Operation Delta Safe (ODS) under its new Commander, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, will soon halt the incessant attacks and safeguard oil facilities in the Niger Delta against militancy and vandalism.

The group believes that the operation will restore lasting peace for unhindered crude oil production in the troubled region.

CPC Coordinator, Tukur Musa Tilde and the Chief Media Strategist, Emeka Nwapa, who addressed journalists in Abuja yesterday after an extraordinary emergency meeting to review the situation in the oil-rich region, said the reinvigorated military operation in the Niger Delta had become imperative due to the huge damage to the nation by the militants’ wanton destruction of critical oil installations in the region.

Expressing sadness over the state of the nation’s economy arising from the huge drop in the crude oil output and electricity megawatts caused by the militants’ activities, the group praised the leadership of the Defence Headquarters for quickly coming up with a strategy to complement the federal government’s political solution to the Niger Delta question.

The duo expressed hope that the Navy-led Operation Delta Safe (ODS) which replaced the former Operation Pulo Shield (OPS) under Rear Admiral Ifeola Mohammed will effect positive changes in the area and decisively address the resurgent militancy in the region in a manner that is capable of bringing criminality in the region to a halt.

They said: “We have reviewed the unfolding situation in the Niger Delta and have come to the conclusion that we are happy that the Chief of Defence Staff and his team have come up with a structure and strategy that can decisively address the ravaging militancy and general criminality in the region in line with best practices and the Nigerian military’s Rule of Engagement.

‘’We are even more confident that the military will be sufficient and professional in carrying out its statutory constitutional mandate in the troubled region in a manner that meets national aspirations.”

The group disclosed that the new commander is widely reputed and acknowledged as a fine officer/gentleman who, as a friend of the region, is versed in the demographics, politics and dynamics of the Niger Delta based on his past assignments as an indigene of the region, a highly-rated navy officer and immediate past Chairman of the National Pipeline Protection Committee (NPPC).

“Admiral Okojie is versed and at home with the yearnings of the people of the region and we are not surprised that immediately after his appointment, the consensus building process has become very high in the region.”

For once, expectations are now high in the region that a Daniel has come to judgment. Those who had been quiet all this while are beginning to talk and move in the direction of joining hands to save the region from further collapse,” the duo told journalists.

Tilde noted that time had come for all indigenes of the region as well as stakeholders to collaborate and work towards bringing lasting peace to the region, stressing the need for them to plug into the noble and enduring focus of the ODS which include stopping all forms of criminality such as oil pipeline vandalism, oil theft and illegal bunkering towards creating peace and tranquility in the entire region.