The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has vowed that the Nigerian military will go after the Niger Delta Avengers and stop the continued attack on the nation’s oil facilities.
Olonisakin cautioned that the military would not allow any person or group of persons to destroy the nation’s critical infrastructure, stressing that the military was poised to deal with the situation appropriately.
The Chief of defence Staff spoke on Monday shortly after commissioning 12 refurbished gunboats and a 40-bedspace Brigade Gunboats Company at the Okrika Jetty in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Olonisakin stated that blowing up oil facilities was not the way to address their grievances, adding that they (militants) were expected to put their complaints appropriately to government.
He added that government was exploring various approaches to ensure that the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta was resolved.
Olonisakin said, “An issue of this nature is multi-facet and not just the military approach. The government is exploring all other approaches to ensure that these issues are resolved. Military is looking at ways to resolve the issue of these bombings.
“We, the military, have told them (Niger Delta Avengers) that this (attacks on oil installations) is not in the interest of the nation. When you bomb those facilities, those critical infrastructure, you are destroying our assets, our resources, as a nation.
“This is not the way to address your grievances. If you have any grievances, you put them appropriately to the government. Of course, we cannot allow people to sabotage and destroy critical infrastructure. We will go after them and ensure that we deal with the situation appropriately.”
He pointed out that the nation was challenged by multi-facetted threats, including the battle with Boko Haram terrorists, oil thefts and attacks on oil installations.
On the commissioning of the gunboats, Olonisakin expressed gratitude to the Niger Delta Development Commission for assisting the military in putting the equipment in order.
According to him, “The repair of these gunboats will no doubt improve the capacity of the brigade to meet its responsibility in curtailing criminal acts in our inland waterways.
“Let me at this juncture appreciate the support of the Niger Delta Development Commission in making these repairs realizable. We appreciate this strategic partnership and support.”