Anxiety in Niger Delta as military showcase might

Military-1• Operation ‘Crocodile Smile’ Takes Off Today In Port Harcourt

In what appears to be a final showdown with the militants, more military personnel, heavy weapons, gunships and vehicles are arriving in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States, to stem incessant attacks on oil installations and end the smouldering seven-month militancy.

The massive deployment of troops and heavy arms to the Niger Delta, seems to underscores the Federal Government’s resolve to secure a military victory against the militants in the region, despite calls for dialogue.

Though the military has said the massive deployment is a mere routine exercise, security sources said the exercise code named, “Exercise Crocodile Smile,” is intended to completely liquidate militants operating in the region.

Last week in Warri, Delta State, residents were shocked to see long-range military tanks and amoured personnel carriers on the major streets, especially the ever-busy Warri-Effurun Road. Others were sighted around the NPA link road and other parts of the town.

Also, residents of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West council say they have severally sighted drones and warplanes encircling their communities.

In fact, Chief Godspower Gbenekema, the spokesman of the kingdom said the movement of drones and planes were indication that the military was planning an attack.

On Thursday a long convoy of articulated vehicles (trailers) numbering over 32 were seen on the Warri-Port Harcourt dual carriage way carrying long range tanks, amoured personnel vehicles, assortment of weapons – allegedly headed to military formations in various parts of the Niger Delta.

The deployment have caused immense outburst as residents allege intimidation. Some wondered why weapons that are tactically useless in amphibious warfare are drafted to cities solely to intimidate the people.

Already, military sources in Port Harcourt told The Guardian that the 2nd Amphibious Brigade would today officially flag off the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” in the State.

The source revealed that proactive measures taken by the military had made it impossible for militants to attack strategic oil installations in Rivers State since the upsurge in militant activities started in February.

“The entire Rivers State is of concern to us. The exercise will take place in the entire Niger Delta states. We are hoping that at the end of the exercise the people will have cause to smile in terms of improvement in security in the Niger Delta,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw National Congress  (INC) spokesperson, Victor Burubo, said the military buildup contravenes government’s professed desire for peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta conflict.

He regretted that the massive deployment of troops, which has led to impediment of movement of people, goods and service, and is already causing hardship in a lot of Ijaw communities, in both Bayelsa and Delta States. He urged the government to withdraw the troops and dialogue with the
militants.

Similarly, the Ijaw Youths Council spokesman, Eric Omare, said the Muhammadu Buhari’s government has shown through the deployment that it was never interested in dialoguing with the Niger Delta stakeholders.

The Pere of Seimbiri Kingdom, HRM Ayemi Botu, said the frenzied deployment of military hardware and troops to the region shows insensitivity on the part of the Buhari government and could throw the region into chaos.

He said: “Sequel to the acceptance of ceasefire by the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups, courtesy of monarchs and the leaders of the Niger Delta ten days ago, one would have expected President Buhari to announce his dialogue team as he did in early June 2016, when he declared two weeks ceasefire, preceding his medical trip to the United Kingdom.”

He implored President Buhari to withdraw the troops he deployed to the region and follow the path of honour, to set the machinery in motion without further delay, to commence the dialogue, so as to achieve the desired peaceful resolution.

He added, “Wise counseling suffices, but if unheeded and the military authorities go ahead to unleash their arsenal on the goose that lays the golden egg and all the strategic and volatile oil installations are affected, invariably the resultant conflagration will certainly overwhelm the entire region, nay Nigeria will be in a comatose economically. It’s like throwing the baby away with bath water or shooting oneself on the foot!”

Following the menace of militants, kidnappers, armed robbers, cultists and
others in Calabar, Akpabuyo and Bakassi, areas, the Cross River State government in conjunction with the Armed Forces, comprising the Army, Navy, Air force
and the Police have mobilised to beef up security in these areas of threat.

The security agents now embark on extensive stop and search, while checkpoints have been introduced between Bakassi and Calabar.

Meanwhile, the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) in Bakassi has denied getting involved in any criminal activities and disturbing the peace of the people or government.

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17 Comments
  • ben

    This is War…………….. is this man from the North bringing to SS/SE?

    • whales1212

      Then go ahead and fight the war, I thought the terrorists claim they’re up to the task?

    • Okorobinako

      You are deceiving yourself. So you champion the case of the south south now? You Ibos are real clowns. What is SS/SE.
      You are the only ones that think people don’t know your mindset. Continue to deceive yourself.
      When the chips are down, we shall know whether an Ijaw man or itshekiri has any affinity with an Ibo savage.

    • Apostel

      With your idiotic criminal actions you have challenged the government. Now is the army here and you and your satanic NDA cultists craps in your pants.

  • Kolawole Shodipo

    D elites in d region should call their militant boys to order instead of blaming Buhari. They call d shots and Buhari is giving them.

    • AYEDUN Emmanuel

      @kola u are nothing but a tribalistic fool. Do u think with all d useless amoury display can win d war he useless nd tactless Buhari govt is displaying?? He can only win a battle but not oil war.

      • kcee

        U can make your point without insulting or calling people names. It exposes your IQ or level of intelligence.

        • Harphyz Sekoni

          @Kola, kindly ignore this obvious illiterate name AYEDUN, I doubt he even knows the meaning of the word “tribalism”, as I do not see whatever warranted such response.

          Militants called for this and the FG is simply doing what should have been done years ago! Even the amnesty program is a sham, go to private universities and see what these so called “militants” that got amnesty r doing… wasting our money n resources, forming cults and militancy within the campuses.

          The corrupt elders now have mouth to talk to them now that govt is enforcing proactive measures, right? It’s a shame!!!

          I just pity their generations to come bcos by the time the r done using their own hands to destroy their lands, then we would see what becomes of them. We r soon going to flush Niger Delta born(s) out of other States like Lagos, Abuja n co and then make them see how it feels!

          They do not want to work n they wanna just be collecting money with their foolish wrappers and ogogoro, c’mon!

  • sannibello_27

    Long overdue… These so called militants and elders have nothing else than self enrichment in their agenda. GEJ rule made them super rich and none could even sponsor a kid from their communities as a least. I support all inclusive and sustainable development for the region. All interventionist agencies have brought little succour to the once peaceful region.

  • Abah of Ipolo

    The millitants have been hunting ‘the lion’. And as the saying goes, if you are hunting a lion there is no need to jump and shout (in fright and flight). May the millitants sustain the cease fire and SURRENDER their weapons. A stitch in time saves the entire region.

    • Savyaw

      Let the soldiers buy mattresses, spread them along the full length of the pipelines in Niger Delta, and make that their permanent bed, thats the only way bombing can stop

      • james_grim_teacher

        They can bomb and communities will be wiped out where they are hiding. The ND will come away from this with tears, hunger, real hunger. Crocodile smiles o

  • The Realist

    WE ARE TOTALLY TIRED OF ISSUES WITH MILITANTS AND THE FG DIALOGUE,SETTLEMENTS,BOMBINGS,THREATS AND COUNTER THREATS! LET THE SHOWDOWN BEGIN FG VS NDM WHOEVER WINS CONTROLS THE COUNTRY NO MORE POLITICS NO MORE BL00DY DIALOGUE AMNESTY AND ALL THAT RUBBISH

  • canzete

    Let hostilities begin. Nothern NigerIan v Niger Delta

  • agbobu

    IF YOU CAN NOT DO THE TIME DO NOT DO THE CRIME. NOW THE CHIPS ARE DOWN AND THERE WILL BE NO HIDDING PLACE OR PLACES FOR THE VERY WRETCHED CRIMINALS.

  • Nadabo Yusuf

    Nigerian Army! Show them your might.

  • james_grim_teacher

    My major issue is the kidnappers and cultists. Politicians had better keep their mouths shut. It is becoming ridiculous.

    In Rivers State it rose up to 5 kidnappings a day with compulsory rape of victims, people’s daughters and wives .
    The Niger Delta people should grow a brain This is the start if how a society gets completely destroyed and you cannot blame Buhari for this one.

    Politicians have failed their people and some are now running away from their cults and covens to church revival services but the first thing to do is stop stealing the money meant for the poor. Stop cynically using ethnic championship to get to power only to rob your people.
    A Fulani at the worst is an outside enemy (which is not even true) but the serious one is internal enemy that steals your kids money even before they are born.

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