Militants threaten missile attacks in Niger Delta; military rules out negotiations

A consolidated group of militants under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) yesterday threatened to launch six missiles in the Niger Delta region.

The group said it would commence the testing of its six missiles which would last for three days on June 7.

Though it did not disclose the nature of the missiles, it warned that no airplanes should fly in and out of the country within the period, claiming that the weapons were capable of hitting any object despite its size.

It said its fighters trained for that purpose had already arrived the region with its foreign partners through what it described as the country’s porous borders.

The group in an electronic statement said it took the decision to further wreck havoc in the region in a meeting attended in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by its commanders.

The militant group said Bayelsa State not Delta State is the command base of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and warned the Commissioner of Information and Orientation in Bayelsa, Jonathan Obuebite to stop criticising NDA.

The group in the statement which repeatedly referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as “Pharaoh”, said the highest organ of JNDLF, the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) concluded that the launching of the missiles would signal its readiness for the final breakup of the country.

Meanwhile the Nigerian military has ruled out negotiation with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), warning the militants to stop sabotaging the economy.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, stated this yesterday during the inauguration of the Nigerian Air Force’ (NAF) newly purchased 10 highly-militarised Honker Scorpion vehicles.

The vehicles were acquired to enhance the Base Defence Concept (BDC), following the 2013 attack on NAF’s base in Maiduguri.

Olonisakin, who said the military was bent on asserting its authority and upholding the nation’s dignity, insisted that it will not tolerate any threat to the stability of the nation.

According to the CDS, the defence architecture was very much in place, advising agitators including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to seek better ways of airing their grievances.

“There are better ways to air their grievances than the way they go about it. The right way is to get necessary permit and protest. If they are violent, we will not take it lightly with them.

“The vehicles being commissioned were procured specifically for the purpose of enhancing security of the air assets within the area of their deployment.

“The equipments are certainly geared towards raising and maintaining the capability of the regiment troops as they contribute to our collective efforts to address the various security challenges confronting our nation.

“I must commend the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, for this strategic initiative of providing troops with adequate equipment and for undertaking numerous other projects which culminate into actualising his vision for the NAF.

“I will like to say that I am very impressed with the CAS’ achievements within the short period of assumption of office. The procurement of these Honker Airfield Defence vehicles is a testimony of the importance the NAF attaches to protection of its critical assets and force protection,” he said.

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