From Francis Sadhere, Warri
The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA on Tuesday said the ongoing agitation against the Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), Code name “Operation Delta Safe” Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi would not deter them from carrying out their responsibility.
The Commander, NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu made the statement at Bennett Island, Warri South Local Government during an operation where many illegal refineries and equipment were destroyed.
Commodore Dewu said, “The campaign against the JTF is just a distraction, we decided to keep silent and continue with our work. The campaign only came from one company and we have many International Oil Companies operating in the Niger Delta.”
It will be recalled that there had been a faceoff between the JTF and Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company over involvement in illegal oil bunkering.
However, Commodore Dewu warned the perpetrators to desist from sabotaging the nation’s economic assets and seek legitimate means of livelihood.
He also said that Nigerian Navy would continue to use swamp buggies to crush illegal refineries in Delta creeks until the illegalities stop.
Commodore Dewu revealed that the Navy had destroyed unquantifiable illegal refineries and equipment in the Delta creeks in the last 29 days with a view to eradicating economic sabotage.
He added, “The use of swamp buggies make it difficult for the saboteurs to restart the business since their facilities are crushed completely. Before they can resuscitate illegal business, it will take them about six months and we do not have the chance to restart.
“Today, the perpetrators in Bennett Island set fire round the illegal refinery site to prevent us and the swamp buggy from gaining access, this action is also contributing to ecological problems. However, we were able to find our way into the site and crushed their equipment despite the thick smoke and rain.
“We have been destroying illegal refineries in the last 29 days in areas like: Ogbegugu, Otumara and Opoku in the Delta creeks with swamp buggies”, he said.