The military on Friday warned that it would be decisive in dealing with fresh threats to oil installations in the country.
The warning followed the decision of militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Avengers to resume attacks on oil installations across the region as it announced an end to ceasefire on operation red economy.
The Niger Delta Avengers, in a statement on Friday vowed not to spare anything or anyone “in our path to actualise a united and free Niger Delta.”
Spokesman of the militant group, self-styled Major-General Murdoch Agbinibo, made the threat, on Friday, in a statement posted on the group’s website, www.nigerdeltaavengers.org.
The military, however, responded to the threats by expressing its readiness to stop the group from succeeding in its plan to plunge the country into another round of economic crisis.
The commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, spoke with Saturday Tribune in Warri on Friday, on the preparedness of the military to neutralise the fresh threat coming from the militants. “We are not taking it lightly. We are also preparing to respond as we are on red alert everywhere,” he said.
The country is witnessing an increase in oil income due to a rise in its crude oil export. The country is presently producing about 2.2 million barrels per day owing to the relative peace in the Niger Delta after the intervention of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Clark.
The commander of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, reacted to the threats in a telephone interview with Saturday Tribune in Warri on Friday.
He said his command was not taking the threat lightly as the patrol of the base’s area of responsibility had commenced with naval personnel on gunboats already in action.
“We are not taking it lightly. We are also preparing to respond as we are on red alert everywhere. We have also got the information. What we do when we get information like this is that our men will be on red alert and we will patrol all the waterways and places.
“You know they are threatening to start attacking oil and gas facilities and everything. We will carry out extensive patrol,” Dewu vowed.
When asked about the strength of the personnel and equipment that will be deployed in the waterways, the naval boss said, “No, no, no, no. I wouldn’t disclose the number of men and gunboats.”
New spokesman of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), an arm of the military Joint Task Force (JTF), Major Abdulahi Abubakar, said he was unaware of the new threats as of the time he was contacted on Friday. The militant group, through its ceaseless attacks on oil and gas facilities in the region, brought down crude oil export to as low, as 1.523 million barrels per day in June 2016 while the country grappled with recession.