The ongoing ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in the Niger Delta region seems to have provoked the splinter cells of the militant groups to further attacks.
A militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, in the early hours of Tuesday, blew up the Afiesere-Iwhrenene major delivery line to UPS/UQCC, operated by Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NDPC/Shorelines Petroleum in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The attack confirmed by a leader of the group, self-styled Gen. Aldo Agbalaja, came as the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which ceased hostilities, last month, accused the military of harassing old men, women and innocent youths in the region under the guise of hunting for militants.
Stakeholders in the South-south region have overtime expressed worries about the heavy presence of military operatives in the region which has raised panic among people.
It would be recalled that the group had earlier announced a ceasefire on the 4th of September, 2016 before resuming hostilities in the region which may not be far from the provocative Operation Crocodile Smile which was introduced to sanitize the restive region.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, has warned that the Federal Government’s plan to continue to militarize the region and intimidate the people despite the fact that NDA and other dangerous militant groups had opted for dialogue will not make the region to forsake the Niger Delta struggle.
Also, acting Secretary of the Gbaramatu Traditional Council, GTC, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, has cautioned against the continued militarization of the kingdom and other parts of the region, saying: “It is an ill wind that blows both the inhabitants of the Niger Delta and the Federal Republic no good.”
We’re not fools – Militants NDGJM in an electronic mail statement, said: “The Niger Delta is not a conquered territory and our people have never succumbed to intimidation before, rather we match force with the oppressor’s brutality. The Nigerian government should already know that the people of this part are not fools, who will not be able to see when they are being treated with disdain.”