WARRIâ€”THE Joint military Task Force in-charge of security in the Niger Delta weekend commenced withdrawal of its operatives from the major streets in Warri and its environs, even as armed robbery cases and sea piracy resurface in Delta State.
Some residents, who spoke to Vanguard in Warri over the evident absence of the military check points at these major roads, called for their return, saying that there were too much arms in the hands of hoodlums in the region that only the JTF could contain.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a resident at the Orhuwhorun area, along the DSC expressway, expressed surprise at the absence of the soldiers, stressing that insecurity now reigned in the whole area as people were now afraid for their dear lives.
Only recently, Itsekiri leaders called for the retention of the military in the riverine area of Escravos to provide cover for their people.
Yesterday, two cars were snatched at gunpoint within Warri metropolis, while armed men have also taken over the waterways killing one person during an attack two weeks ago around the Esungbo creek area of the Escravos-Warri route in the third attack in less than two months.
But an Ijaw leader and Gbaramatu native, Prince Clement Bebenimibo, said the attacks were the handiworks of miscreants in the riverine area.
He called on the JTF and Delta State Waterways Committee (DSWSC) to ensure that the hoodlums were apprehended and promptly brought to book, as their activities were antithetical to the renewed spirit of brotherliness amongst the Ijaw and Itsekiri of the region who suffered from the same predicament.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre of the (JTF), Colonel Rabe Abubakar, told Vanguard that the withdrawal of their personnel was a normal routine operation, saying there was now relative peace in the state.
According to him, the soldiers need not be permanently on ground, except the conditions warrant same.
He charged residents of Warri to provide prompt and adequate information to the security outfit on the activities of criminals to enable them act fast.
Col. Rabe maintained that though the waterways were now free and open to normal business, the JTF was still very much around to provide security to all legitimate seafarers, and urged the people to always alert the JTF in case of any attack and the area from where the attackers come.