Soldiers in Yola, Adamawa State: Operational Commander, Brig-Gen. Fatai Alli addressing soldiers on arrival in Yola for the State of Emergency Operation yesterday. Photo: NAN.
By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, yesterday, said that the threat by the military to attack the Niger Delta region over alleged rise in criminal activities such as oil theft, sea piracy and kidnapping, was a subterfuge to attack and kill innocent people of the Niger Delta region.
IYC was reacting to a statement credited to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Bardeh, to the effect that the military would turn its arsenal on the Niger Delta because of the rise in criminal activities in the Delta.
Air Chief Marshall Bardeh had, weekend in Yenagoa, at the commissioning of the permanent headquarters of the Joint Task Force, JTF, expressed concern over the rising cases of oil theft in the Niger Delta region, warning the perpetrators to desist from the act or be ready to face deadly gun battle.
But the IYC, through its spokesman, Eric Omare, yesterday, described the Chief of Defence Staff’s comment as part of the plot by a section of the country now in power to silence the people of the Niger Delta.
He said: “IYC regards the threat by the military to attack the Niger Delta region because of alleged rise in criminal activities such as oil theft, sea piracy and kidnapping, as a subterfuge to attack and kill innocent people of the Niger Delta region. This is a prelude to the execution of a hidden agenda by a section of the country now in power to silence the people of the Niger Delta.
“It is an open secret that those involved in oil theft in the Niger Delta are well placed persons in the society, including top ranking serving and retired military officers. Some persons in the Niger Delta are only used as artisans and errand boys. Air Marshall Alex Badeh cannot claim ignorance of this fact.”