June 21, 2009

Militancy asumes dangerous dimension —JTF

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—JOINT Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta says militancy is taking an ugly trend in Nigeria with the use of propeller-type plane like the one recently impounded by security at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, by militants to ferry arms and ammunition.

Spokesman of the task force, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, in a statement yesterday, said “the propeller type plane used in this illegal shipment at Kano is designed for short take-off and landing even in unconventional jungle airstrips, and is used worldwide for illegal arms and drug trafficking”.

His words: “The recent arrest of a foreign aircraft at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, carrying large consignments of illegal arms and ammunition and linking it with militants in the Niger Delta by the patriotic Nigeria Press did not come to the JTF as a surprise”.

“We have over time, consistently alerted peace-loving citizens of Nigeria and the international community of the grave dangers of militancy in the Niger Delta as exemplified by the likes of MEND which portend a serious threat to national security.

Thank God, with each passing day, we are being proved right.

“Whether the illegal arms and ammunition were destined for Equatorial Guinea or Niger Delta is one and same thing, as MEND and the militants in the Niger Delta have been incontrovertibly linked to the destabilization attempts in the two regions (Equatorial Guinea and Niger Delta).

Illegal arms transfer world-wide, has the common characteristics of a cargo plane having false shipment documents with unintended destinations while landing in the intended country of delivery by giving a false reason or excuse of either fueling or technical problems.

“This indicates a clandestine dimension of the militants and militancy in the region and Nigeria as a whole. This trend should worry every right-thinking Nigerians, whether at home or abroad and calls for sober reflection and need to support the JTF in its efforts”, he stated.

“Consequently, the JTF being a security outfit for the restoration of law and order in the Niger Delta wishes to sensitize all peace-loving and patriotic Nigerians to this ugly trend militancy is taking in the Niger Delta region with its grievous consequences”, he added.

He, however said, “The JTF will continue to discharge its assigned responsibilities of clamping down on crime and criminality in the Niger Delta in all their manifestations no matter the challenges”, adding, “ We will do this with all sense of urgency and professionalism that our training has taught us. We will never waver or slow down, this, we assure all law abiding citizens of the region and we urge them to continually partner with us in order to restore law and order”.