We’re winning war against oil theft, militancy in N’Delta—Army commander

Yenagoa—Sadisu Yakasai, commander of 16 brigade Nigerian army/sector 2, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), says the military is winning the fight against militancy and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

According to the TheCable, Yakasai spoke on Sunday at the end of the 2022 West African Social Activities (WASA) held at camp Tukur Buratai barracks, Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state.

The crude oil theft has been a source of concern to the government, with huge revenue diverted to the pockets of the perpetrators.

In October 2022, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited said over $150 million was being lost to vandals every two days.

Yakasai said OPDS is progressively winning the “war” against oil theft.

“The year 2022 was eventful and highly successful for us in 16 brigade in the Niger Delta. The war against crude oil theft and militancy is being progressively and steadily won,” he said.

“Here in Bayelsa, our troops have been actively involved in Operation Delta Safe against militancy, sea piracy, sea robbery, and other forms of criminality in the state, especially in the waterways entrance and exit to the state with a lot of successes.

“The brigade has also been engaged in several other exercises and operations in achieving the feat for the state and the nation’s sake. Some of these include exercise still waters 2022 which is eventually called operation safe conduct.”

He explained that operation safe conduct is aimed at providing the enabling environment for the peaceful and successful conduct of the 2023 elections.

He said troops would remain professional and apolitical throughout the polls.

“In counting some of our activities in the course of last year, the brigade was able to synergise with personnel of other security agencies who supported the brigade in its operations and also conduct some civil-military cooperation activities.

“The civil-military cooperation activities include the donation of education materials, donation of relief materials to members of Elebele community and other communities.

“Others are the donation of relief materials to Gloryland orphanage home, sanitation exercises, medical outreaches, and groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of boreholes in communities.”

In his remarks, Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa, commended the troops for being “resolute in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities”.

Diri, who was represented by Akpoebi Agarebi, special adviser on electoral matters lauded the officers for their “tremendous achievements in combating oil theft, kidnapping, militancy, sea piracy/robbery and other activities of criminal elements which have brought remarkable improvements in the security situation in Bayelsa.”

“The people of Bayelsa, who are the direct beneficiaries of your effort, now sleep with their two eyes closed, the people now go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation,” he said.

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