Why troops are still deployed in Niger Delta, by DHQ
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that troops in the oil-rich Niger Delta region remain deployed to take care of unforeseen developments.
The military high command restated that the presence of troops gives confidence to investors and businesses to remain in operation, saying the military cannot on their own withdraw from areas where operations have not been concluded unless directed to withdraw.
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Agim, while responding to a recent Amnesty International’s (AI) allegation of human rights abuses by soldiers, debunked the claim, insisting that troops who flout the military code of conduct are usually sanctioned.
He said the renewed allegations by AI are the same old issues, which the global human rights watchdog simply rehashed to dent the good image of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Agim, who spoke at the weekend during a parley with journalists, said the war against insurgency in the North-East had led to some discoveries by troops that dead Boko Haram fighters usually carry heavy cash on them.
“Troops recently found N2 million on one neutralised Boko Haram fighter in the theatre of operations in the North-East and this has been the trend each time we search their fallen fighters,” he said.
Agim said Operation Whirl Stroke launched by the DHQ in North-Central and North-West to check cases of attacks on communities is already yielding results with many armed herdsmen or militia either arrested or killed by special forces.
Members of the special forces, he explained, are drawn from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence and have been given fresh mandate to end the killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Zamfara and other trouble spots.
The Defence spokesman, therefore, suggested the need for a more robust policing of all border points and visitors in the country, adding that the military operation code-named ‘Lafiya Dole’ is still very active in the North-East and will continue to rescue victims and profile them before handing them over to the police.
Besides, he implored the media to support the military to overcome the internal challenges, noting that the Defence Headquarters is planning to take some journalists on a tour to Pakistan to learn more about media/military co-operation in war against insurgency.
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