Joint Task Force, JTF, renamed Operation Delta Safe, yesterday, engaged suspected oil thieves in the Niger Delta in a fierce gun duel in some communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Spokesman of the security outfit in the Niger Delta region, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi told Vanguard that the mandate of the body was to protect oil facilities in the region, describing as untrue, allegations by some communities that they were harassed during the two-day operation that ended yesterday in the area. “We have to be very careful with information. We have a mandate to protect oil and gas infrastructure, to deter and prevent militancy. We are here to protect the pipelines and the people.”
Meantime, an indigene of one of the communities, Mr Mike Ikima, said men of the JTF allegedly stormed Okerenkokogbone, Opuede communities in search of illegal bunkerers, adding that the soldiers allegedly harassed community people.