The group lauded the deployment of the military under ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ to restore sanity to the Niger Delta region.
The New Niger Delta Emancipation Front has advised militants operating in the region to embrace peace even as it lauded the deployment of the military under ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ to restore sanity to the area.
In an electronic statement issued by its director of public enlightenment and awareness, Lucky Humphrey, the group noted that the presence of the military in the Niger Delta was crucial to rescuing the region’s larger population who ‘have become human pawns to a vocal minority made up of the militants and their sponsors.’
It stated that Nigerians of South-South origins must develop the courage to speak out against the atrocities being committed against them by militants who try to impose their decisions on the entire area without having held consultations with anyone on what they want.
It said the situation could have gone worse federal government succumbed to the blackmail of those resisting military presence in the Niger Delta under the pretext of calling for negotiation while what they were actually doing was “buying time for their boys (militants) to mobilize and gather more weapons.”
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“The militants who are not unaware of the global economic meltdown would have resorted to their old ways of kidnap for ransom but for the vigilance of the military. Had this happened, only the celebrity kidnap victims would get reported and attract security intervention while the poorer families would become prey to the small ransom kidnap syndicates that would operate freely.
“This is why, contrary to the position of militants’ sponsors who could afford the media hype to claim the contrary, we salute President Muhammadu Buhari for the deployment of the military to the region.
“It is in the same vein we advise our people who have been misled into taking up arms to discard them and structure their intervention for the Niger Delta within the framework of the legitimate platforms for expressing dissatisfaction by law-abiding Nigerians.
“Unrepentant militants should note that the rest of the Niger Delta would move forward without them in the event that they suffer the consequences of refusing to disarm. We know from recent experiences that the arms they bear against the government are not for the general well-being of the Niger Delta population but for some narrow interest for which they are prepared to commit crimes,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the father of former militant leader, Government ‘Tompolo’ Ekpemupolo is dead.
Thomas Osen Ekpemupolo passed on early hours of Wednesday, September 7, 2016 after alleged military brutality in May, 2016.