‘Operation Delta Safe,’ the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, on Wednesday reacted to threats from the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) who claim that they will declare a Niger Delta Republic on August 1.The NDA had also said that it was prepared to take on the Nigerian military.In what appeared to be a reaction to the threats posed by the claims, the military said that it was adequately prepared to deal with the renewed violence by militants in the region.
Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, Commander of the operation, said during a press conference that the military has to capacity to flush out militants but were compelled to respect the dialogue option adopted by the federal government.
It will be recalled that the Defence Headquarters had scaled down the military option and declared a ceasefire in order to pave way for dialogue with the militants.
A few days ago, President Muhamadu Buhari told the outgoing German Ambassador that the federal government was in talks with the Niger Delta militants.
Rear Admiral Okojie who said that the operation enjoyed the support of the military top brass and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces and has been effectively curtailing collateral damage to oil infrastructure in the region.
He urged the media to be objective and professional in reporting the security challenges in the Niger Delta region, as the military will continue to keep its mandate of providing a safe environment for economic prosperity.
“We have seen reports emanating from faceless sources that tend to compromise national security in the mainstream media and want to restate our commitment to the mandate given to Operation Delta Safe,” he said, noting that the mandate does not include engagement in propaganda with anyone.
Affirming that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is “sacrosanct,” he implored the media to rise to the occasion and subject their security related stories to the dictates of their professional ethics.