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Oil theft: Army begins security operation in Bayelsa

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The Nigerian Army has commenced a security operation code-named Exercise Still Waters III to tackle pipeline vandalism, cultism, illegal oil refining, kidnapping and other crimes in Bayelsa.

The exercise was inaugurated on Tuesday in Otuokpoti, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

In his speech, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa hailed the military for the exercise, saying security was imperative to ensuring good governance.

He welcomed the exercise, saying that the operation came at a time the country was approaching the yuletide and Bayelsa was preparing for off-cycle governorship election.

Mr Diri also appreciated the efforts of the military in reducing crime and criminality in the state and urged them to continue to be proactive in making the state safe for all.

Mr Diri pledged the support of the state government to security agencies to keep Bayelsa peaceful.

According to him, the success of previous security exercises had contributed immensely to peaceful yuletide period in the state, and commended the Chief of Army Staff for sustaining the exercise.

“In our state and as we all know, we are in a period called the ember months, which attract criminal activities.

“So, it is necessary to set in place the machinery to check criminal activities as well as more importantly for the governorship election.

“Since assuming office, I have given priority to the security of our people and this is the essence of good governance. I have ensured that our people sleep with their two eyes closed.

“I appreciate the sacrifices and commitment of our gallant forces, which have helped reduce crime in our state,” he added.

In his remarks, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdussalam, said the exercise would focus on key aspects of cyber warfare to counter negative propaganda in the social media space.

The GOC added that it would address other security challenges experienced during the end of the year.

He assured that personnel of the Nigerian Army were ready to pay the supreme price for the peace and security of Nigeria.

Mr Abdussalam hailed commanders from other security formations for their participation and support to the efforts at maintaining peace and security in the state.

Earlier, the Commander 16 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Sadisu Yakassai, said the exercise was designed to cover all areas of security concerns in Bayelsa, adding that relevant stakeholders within the security architecture were involved.

He said the exercise was aimed at checkmating criminal activities such as pipeline vandalism, cultism, illegal oil refining, kidnapping among others.

The commander added that it was also designed to prepare the troops for the Nov. 11 governorship election.

The inauguration featured gunboats display highlighting the readiness of the military to tackle any security threat, and also a free medical outreach for residents of Otuokpoti.

NAN

 

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