As Nigeria gets closer to the 2019 general elections, the Nigerian Army on Wednesday assured the populace of a peaceful conduct of elections across the country.
The Commander, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman gave this assurance during a press conference held at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Delta, Warri naval base.
Commenting on the activities of the ongoing “Operation 777” Suleiman said that over 300 illegal refineries and 1,085 surface tanks have been destroyed.
He said that “OPERATION 777” which was launched by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Abayomi on Oct. 10, 2018 was to further reinvigorate the operations of the Joint Task Force (JTF), OPDS.
According to the naval boss, the aim was to disrupt the activities of the criminal elements in the Niger Delta region ahead of the 2019 general elections and the yuletide.
Suleiman therefore, advised law abiding citizens in the Niger Delta region to go about their legitimate businesses assuring that the JTF was ever ready to protect them and the environment.
He added that the “OPERATION 777” had made remarkable achievement thereby meeting the objectives of the Operations.
Suleiman listed some of the areas of successes to include: Impounding and destruction of illegal refineries and their ancillaries; Destruction of militant camp; Disarmament exercise among others.
“Cases of illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and associated criminalities do increase during major festivities and election years, this necessitated the launching of “OPERATION 777” by the CDS activated by the Headquarters, OPDS.
“The “OPERATION 777” has made huge achievement, over 300 illegal refineries, 156 locally manufactured boats, 1,085 surface tanks have been destroyed.
“Additionally, 15 barges, 10 tanker trucks, 31 vehicles, 45 speed boats, 16 outboard engines 41 pumping machines, 15 generating sets and 76 other items have been impounded.
“It is also worthy to mention that 6 different types of arms and over 100 items of munitions have been recovered during the period in focus,” he said.
Suleiman said that the JTF also conducted anti-illegal bunkering/anti-illegal refining operations at Okaki community in Bayelsa in which over 100 reservoir and an estimated 210 metric tonnes of Automated Gasoline Oil was destroyed.
He also said that the JTF rescued seven Nigerians maintenance workers of Agip Oil Company who were kidnapped by gunmen on Oct. 5 in Azuzuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
“OPERATION 777 is simultaneously conducted with OPERATION CROCODILE SMILE 3. We are collaborating and sharing actionable intelligence as both operation is meant to curb criminal activities in the Niger Delta.” he said.