BY Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, lauded the efforts of Joint Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, under the command of Major General Bata Debiro, noting that despite operating in a peculiar terrain, the special security outfit had done well in reducing criminality in the Niger Delta region.
This is just as the officers and men of the JTF, in their hundreds, formally bade farewell to Gen. Debiro, who recently retired from the service.
The state government’s commendation of the security forces might not be unconnected with the recent drop in crude oil theft in the region to about 40,000 barrels per day as well as the reduction in recorded cases of pipeline vandalism in recent times.
It was learnt that the country was losing about 100,000 barrels of crude daily to oil thieves until Debiro assumed command of Operation Pulo Shield in the troubled region and took the battle to the oil thieves and vandals in the creeks of the Delta.
Speaking at a send-forth ceremony organised in Debiro’s honour at JTF Headquarters in Yenagoa, the state deputy governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) commended the retiring officer for his commitment to duty, noting that notable contributions had been recorded by the force.
“Operation Pulo Shield has done very well in the Niger Delta. It is not easy working in the creeks. The response of the JTF commander and the FOC and most of the signals that come from the creek and the reaction from FORMOSA are quite commendable,” he said and urged the JTF and its support units to continue the good work in the region.
Responding, Gen. Debiro thanked the Bayelsa State Government, the governments of Niger Delta states, as well as the officers and men of JTF for their support during his time as the commander of the outfit.
Though the outgoing commander admitted the presence of some bad eggs within the outfit, he nonetheless commended his officers for taking disciplinary measures against such identified personnel.