Soldiers

FG committed to protecting Nigerians, says SGF

AUTHORITIES of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) code- named Operation Pulo Shield Thursday announced that seven operational camps of kidnappers and sea robbers (pirates) were destroyed during the recent deployment of troops into the Azuzuama Community in the Southern Ijaw Council of Bayelsa State.

A former Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comrade Udengs Eradiri, had called on the Federal Government to immediately order the JTF to stop the raiding of Bayelsa communities over the mere suspicion of shielding suspected killers of 12 policemen by armed gunmen.

Eradiri urged the JTF to work closely with the ex-militant leader, who knows the perpetrators of that dastardly act, instead of attacking and intimidating innocent citizens, adding that the JTF should not compound the woes of the people of the community, who were already leaving in abject poverty.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has stated its commitment to the protection of Nigerians, their right to peaceful living, to associate and exercise their fundamental human rights in all its ramifications without hindrance despite security challenges.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, made this declaration Thursday in Abuja in a keynote address at the third Yearly General Assembly of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa.

He said: “We acknowledge there are some challenges over security threats in some parts of the country. The government remains committed to the protection of lives, property and particularly the human rights of all persons in Nigeria.”

Nevertheless, the JTF Media Centre Co-ordinator, Lt.-Col. Onyeama Nwachukwu, insisted that the security operation in Azuzuama community was successful and has led to the destruction of seven hide-outs used by kidnappers and sea robbers in the Southern Ijaw area.

“Following findings from series of thorough surveillance and investigations carried out by our operatives on recent criminal activities of kidnappers and sea robbers in the waterways and creeks along the Delta-Bayelsa axis, the JTF uncovered a number of hide-outs that has served for hibernation to these criminals.” Nwachukwu said.

“Maritime platforms, comprising three fibre boats and two sophisticated sea-going boats used by the criminals from their hide-outs were scuttled. Items including one Ak47 riffle magazine loaded with 34 live rounds of 7.62mm, yard of Army camouflage and sewn uniforms, one cartridge belt, wraps of marijuana, two Thuraya phones, radio intercom set and 109 Honduran Lempira (foreign currency notes) were recovered from the hideouts.”

Anyim, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the SGF, Jamila Shuara, assured the participants of their safety while in Nigeria.

He further assured of government’s commitment, bearing in mind its obligations under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance with respect to human rights and democratic norms, to “bring to justice all perpetrators found in the violation of human rights in any form.”

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