It is going to be full-scale war against Niger Delta Militants as the Nigerian Army readies itself for a final showdown to stop the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of Defence, Dan-Ali (retd), had stated the position of the Federal Government over the weekend in an interview after a closed door meeting in Yenegoa with Commander of Operation Delta State (ODS), Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, operational officers and explained that despite the ongoing talks with militants to address their grievances, the use of force was not ruled out to end the criminality being perpetrated by some of the groups.
According to a DailySun report, Dan Ali who was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, said the Federal Government was implementing resolutions reached with government of the Niger Delta States on the conduct of it operation in the region.
He disclosed that like it did in the North-east, civilians would be involved in its operations and would work with the special force being trained to ensure that fake websites used to dish out rumours to intimidate people were closed down.
Dan Ali explained that former agitators trained under the amnesty programme would also be involved in the efforts to secure peace in the region. He allayed the fears that collateral damage might occur when the military operation start.
“We are not going to war. It is an internal security operation. We know our rules of engagement so there is no need to talk of collateral damage. As far as we are concerned, what we are doing is to stop the criminality in the Niger Delta region.”
Also speaking, Olonisakin said the Federal Government has provided the opportunity for negotiation, adding however, that the military would not condone the continued destruction of oil facilities.
“We are doing everything to secure peace. We have provided the opportunity for negotiations and discussions and we expect those sabotaging the nation’s oil infrastructure to come to the negotiation table.
“We want to assure that those that want to continue to destroy oil facilities would be dealt with,” he said.