The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Tuesday said no group or individuals have the right to threaten or force residents in any part of the country to abandon their homes.
A statement from Defence spokesman, Brigadier General, Rabe Abubakar said the military wishes to alert the public on how militant groups are springing up in the Niger Delta under the guise of regional agitation to commit crimes.
He said, “The latest being the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) that claimed responsibility for blowing up NNPC oil pipeline few days ago.”
“The same group has come out again, demanding residents living near oil and gas infrastructure to vacate their homes to avoid being caught in its next attacks,” he added.
Abubakar said, “The military wishes to state, in clear term, that no group or individual has the right to threaten or force residents in any part of Nigeria to abandon their homes in obeisance to certain group’s selfish and devilish interest.”
He said despite the Federal Government’s olive branch to broker peace and profer solution to the Niger Delta problem, some groups are still fanning the ember of war.
He said the military and other security agencies would remain focused, un-intimidated and will display professionalism in ensuring adequate security to lives and property.
Abubakar said, while the military respect the Government’s negotiation with relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta, the military exercise and operations in the area are not targeted at any group or meant towards making lives difficult for the inhabitants.
He explained that the ongoing exercise is geared towards enhancing civil-military relationship and building the confidence of the resident on the ability of the military to protect them.
He said the exercise also demonstrates the strength of the troops to purge the region of criminals and economic saboteurs, adding that: “The Armed Forces would not tolerate any form of criminality in that region.”
He further said: “We urge the public, especially those residing in the Niger Delta, to discountenance the threat and request innocent citizens and those domiciled therein to go about their legitimate businesses.”
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