By Daniel Idonor
President Goodluck Jonathan thursday applauded the gallant performance of soldiers deployed by the Nigerian Army to rescue both local and foreign nationals kidnapped by self-acclaimed militants in the Niger-Delta region for a job well done.
The President, in a statement by Presidential Spokesman, Mr Ima Niboro, commended the military high command and officers and men of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta for the safe rescue yesterday of seven foreign and 12 Nigerian oil workers held by kidnappers in the region.
Mr Niboro, who is also the Special Adviser to the President, (Media & Publicity), disclosed that President Jonathan also saluted the professionalism exhibited by the JTF in accomplishing the rescue operation without any bloodshed or loss of innocent lives.
“While the Federal Government will continue to take all necessary steps to guarantee the safety of lives and property, as well as the security of oil workers and installations in the Niger Delta, President Jonathan assured all law-abiding citizens that they have nothing to fear,” it said.
The president also affirmed that government would continue to pursue its programmes for the re-orientation, rehabilitation and re-integration of all genuine militants who laid down their arms under its amnesty programme, with a view to making them partners and stakeholders in the well-being and progress of the Niger-Delta and Nigeria.
He warned, however, that those who continue to hide under acronyms to engage in criminal acts of self-enrichment will no longer find a safe haven anywhere in the Niger Delta, as law enforcement agencies have orders to seek them out and bring them to justice.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan, in a separate statement, yesterday sent condolences to former President Ibrahim Babangida over the death of the retired general’s mother-in-law, Hajiya Asabe Mohammed King.
In a condolence message to the former Head of State, President Jonathan urged him and other relations of Hajiya Asabe to take solace in the knowledge that she lived a full and accomplished life, and gave the nation a most admirable offspring, Mrs. Maryam Babangida, who, sadly also passed away recently.
Asking the former president to extend his condolences to the entire King and Babangida families, President Jonathan prayed that God Almighty will grant Hajiya Asabe’s soul peaceful repose in Paradise.