Niger Delta: JTF won’t be provoked to declare war on militants
Joint (Military) Task Force (JTF) on the Niger Delta has said that it would not be provoked to declaring outright war on militants operating along the creeks of the Niger Delta despite all acts of provocations, especially from misinformed critics.
Although the formation did not name any organisation in its statement, it is assumed that all fingers pointed to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
Coordinator of the Media Operations of the JTF, Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, stated this in Yenagoa while lamenting the comments by some Non Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) on the activities of the military formation, saying such organisations have hijacked the concept of NGO to feather their nests.
“They have over the years hijacked an otherwise genuine struggle to feather their own nest. Consequently, the prospect of a quick end to the stand-off in the Niger Delta, employing a combination of military operation and dialogue where necessary, has opened a specter of loss of revenue, relevance and reckoning,” he said.
JTF insisted: “The charlatans behind this campaign to discredit the JTF are those currently masquerading as “stake-holders” and “initiators of NGOs” to help Niger Deltans. Hence, the desperate attempt by these sponsors to sustain the militancy, even at the expense of the Niger Deltans that they claim to be emancipating.”
The military, in a rare acknowledgement, commended the efforts of the likes of the ex-militant leader, Boyloaf at ensuring peace in the region.
Despite the criticism of its activities in the region, JTF said it remains resolute in its efforts to put an end to criminality in the region.
“The JTF is aware that the current spate of denial of its achievement is part of a larger plot to provoke a brutal crackdown which could lead to subversion of its personnel, especially those from the Niger Delta and ultimately undermine its cohesion as a fighting force.
“The JTF will not fall victim of this cheap blackmail aimed at making it spill the blood of innocent Nigerians, The JTF is aware that a handful of criminals “just to prove any point. and their sponsors are the ones hiding under anonymity of the cyber These few are the real enemies of space to spread fear and falsehood. the Niger Delta, not the JTF.”