Punch / Nigeria: The Defence Headquarters, on Saturday, read the Riot Act to the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups, saying it will not condone attacks on oil installations.
The Director of Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in an exclusive chat with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said the military would ensure the protection of the national oil facilities.
The Niger Delta Avengers had on Friday in a statement posted on its website, said it launched two simultaneous operations to disrupt oil and gas activities in the region.
The operations were identified as “Operations Wall of Jericho” and “Hurricane Joshua.”
The military described such plans and actions as “an unwelcome development and sabotage.”
Abubakar said, “This is our country and it is the responsibility of all citizens to work for its peaceful well-being and development.
“The military and other security agencies will continue to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens in the Niger Delta or any other part of the country.
“Any act of sabotage by any group will not be condoned. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to maintain and protect our critical infrastructure in line with our mandate.
Speaking further on the militants’ planned attacks, the Army spokesman said, “All citizens should cooperate with the military and other security agencies in the area by providing timely information and report any suspicious persons or groups that threaten the economic activities anywhere in the country.
“We are not targeting anybody or group. Therefore, there is no need for any group to work against the country, no matter their grievances. Political leaders have embarked on negotiations with the stakeholders.”
The NDA, had also in the statement by its Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinib, said since its declaration of cessation of hostilities in the region it was clear to the group that Nigeria was not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiations with its people.
It had said, “The world is aware that, after listening to calls from our royal fathers, community leaders, stakeholders and members of the comity of nations especially the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union, we halted all actions.”
The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources did not respond to enquiries on the claims by Niger Delta elders and the threat by the Niger Delta Avengers to renew hostilities in the region, when contacted.
Several calls to the mobile phone of the made spokesperson of the ministry, Idang Alibi, were not answered.
He also did not respond to a text message sent to him.