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Posts tagged ‘Task force’

Kokori deserted as JTF, Kelvin’s gang battle for control.


Kokori-JTF

The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield, has uncovered an armoury of the suspected kidnap kingpin and leader of the Liberation Movement of Urhobo People (LiMUP), Kelvin Ibruvwe (aka Oniarah), in Koko, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.

The discovery of the weaponry followed an intense push by men of the Sector 1 Command of the JTF to rid the Urhobo town of remnant of the ragtag army purportedly led by Ibruvwe, who was arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on September 25.

The Nation learnt that no fewer than 10 of Kelvin’s gang members, including his second and third in-command, Mr. Rufus Ovwigho (aka Don Jazzy), who succeeded Kelvin after his arrest and Ezegbe Ogheneruno (aka Commander Kelly) had been killed since the operation to rid the area of criminals began.

Also, 12 members of the gang, including a member of the team which abducted a security expert, Dr. Ona Ekomu, have been arrested.

A dilapidated storey building located off Market Road in the heart of the town was captured by the JTF during a bloody shootout, which lasted from the early hours of last Thursday till Saturday.

The volume of arms and ammunition recovered from the building could not be ascertained, but our visit to the town yesterday showed that troops have taken over control and secured it with no fewer than 10 military checkpoints manned by stern-looking soldiers in strategic locations.

The Commanding Officer of the 3 Battalion, Lt.-Col. Ifeanyi Otu, who spoke with reporters in the deserted town yesterday, said the internal security operation to rid the area of criminal and ensure security of life, property and to create a conducive environment for lawful activities had been carried out.

He said: “This internal security role has been carried out by the synergy of officers and men of the services, mainly the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Department of State Services (DSS).”

Although Lt.-Col. Otu was silent on the number of casualty, if any, resulting from the bloody duels, a source in the team, which confronted the gang members, told our reporter that they were armed with sophisticated weapons and ammunition.

“They (youths) took position on storey buildings and fired at us for several hours. It was clear that they wanted to regain control of the community. We overpowered them and tightened our hold,” the military source added.

A community source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least two members of the gang were gunned down, while others, who sustained gunshot injuries, were taken away from the scene by their members.

However, the JTF boss lamented the activities of some of the community’s leaders, who he accused of encouraging the criminal activities of the group, stressing: “The conspiracy of silence maintained by the community leaders and especially its elders fanned the embers of these criminals. It also encouraged the establishment of a kidnap/militant groups led by Kelvin Ibruvwe.”

The Nation’s visit yesterday showed that Kokori had become like a ghost town as over 95 per cent of its inhabitants had fled the community in the wake of the recent bloody clashes between troops and members of the armed gang. Nearly all the houses in the communities’ main quarters were empty.

Scenes of destruction and carnage dotted the town: windows and doors were smashed. Over 50 cars and motorcycles were either destroyed or burnt. One of the victims was said to be a visitor, who drove his girlfriend to the town on Friday. His car was burnt as used to barricade the main road leading to the Egba Shrine in the centre of the town.

The shrine was still smouldering yesterday. JTF sources said troops were engaged in an hour-long gun fight with the gangs, who took cover at the shrine before they were overpowered. The shrine was believed to render the militants invincible and bulletproof.

The masterminds of the latest destruction were a subject of debate between the community leaders and the JTF authority.

Residents accused troops of looting shops and houses in the wake of the abandonment of the town by residents and criminals. One of the leaders, who spoke with our reporter, said his house was among those looted.

However, Lt.- Col. Otu debunked the allegations, saying: “The allegation of destruction and looting of property by the troops is not true. The daily administration is closely monitored by five officers; discipline is maintained as one is not unaware of the possible fallout in an operation of this nature.”

He said the allegations were meant to draw sympathy from those who knew nothing about what was going on in the town before the current situation, adding: “It is an attempt to undermine the good work the troops are doing in Kokori, aimed at restoring law and order in a community, which hitherto drifted towards anarchy.

“The headquarters of Sector 1 under the command of Brig.-Gen. Pat Akem has the backing of the state government to maintain law and order and restore normalcy in Kokori. It is on record that the rate of kidnapping and armed robbery has reduced in Edo and Delta states following the ongoing operations,” he added.

Otu appealed to the indigenes to cooperate with the troops in the ongoing operations to restore normalcy.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Two feared dead as JTF, youths clash in Delta.


JFT

Kokori community in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State was deserted yesterday after a fresh bloody clash between troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and armed youths loyal to the alleged notorious crime lord, Kelvin Ibruvwe, left at least two persons dead.

The latest clash occurred less than 24 hours after the State Security Service (SSS) secured a court order to keep Ibruvwe for 90 days to enable it conclude its investigation.

Sources said armed youths, who had laid siege to the community since the arrest of Ibruvwe two months ago, engaged in a gunfight with JTF troops, which lasted about one hour.

It could not be ascertained if the deceased were members of the Liberation Movement of Urbobo People formed by Ibruvwe before his arrest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on September 25.

JTF official, Captain Mohammed Abdullahi, who confirmed the clash, did not give details, as he was on the road when our reporter called him on the phone yesterday evening.

Responding to a question, he said: “Yes, there were casualties, but I cannot give you any more information than that until I have a full account.”

A source in the town told our reporter that two youths were killed by stray bullets during the bloody encounter.

He said: “Two persons have been confirmed dead. They were hit by stray bullets during a shootout between the boys and the soldiers.”

It was learnt that yesterday’s clash may not be unconnected with a threat by Ibruvwe’s gang to unleash mayhem in the community over his travail.

A source in Kokori told our reporter that the gang members went round the homes of prominent traditional title holders and other indigenes to pressure them to make the trip to Abuja for Ibruvwe’s court appearance on Wednesday.

“Armed gang members went round the homes of the chiefs to threaten them of the consequences if they do not travel to Abuja and protest on the court premises.”

Following the threat, it was gathered that the community leaders fled their homes after informing security operatives of the criminal gang’s hideout.

Source: Radio Biafra.

JTF Smashes Militants’ Camp In Bakassi, Shuts Illegal Refineries, Seizes 4 Vessels.


Boko haram fighter 3

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, said its operatives have dismantled a militant camp in Bakassi local government area of Cross River State. The force disclosed that its operatives destroyed 59 illegal refineries, arrested seven suspects, and 4 barges in its offensive against oil thieves.

These disclosures were contained in a statement released Sunday in Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State capital, by the JTF’s media coordinator, Lieutenant-Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement added that several rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the camp.

 

“During the clamp down, the troops recovered 24 x 7.62mm round cartons, 5 Browning machine gun ammunitions, 3 x 7.62 mm round special and 7 live cartridges. Other items recovered from the camp include 4 machine gun belts and one passport fiber boat belonging to Inland Water Ways Agency,” the JTF stated.

According to Colonel Nwachukwu, the captured camp was known in the local area as “Efut Esighi.” He said the camp served as an operational base from which pirates and militants attacked their victims.

The spokesman said JTF operatives also destroyed three illegal crude oil distillation camps concealed in a forest at Agbede and Egwua, in Esako West and Warri South West local government areas of Edo and Delta States respectively. Also reportedly confiscated were items used for the militants’ illicit acts, including seven steel surface tanks, seven locally fabricated ovens used for heating up stolen crude oil, 235 metal drums and four dug-out pits containing stolen crude oil.

The JTF added that its agents shut down shut down 56 illegal crude oil distillation camps in operations carried out in Bayelsa and Rivers States. According to its spokesman, JTF troops destroyed 16 “Cotonou” boats, 22 pumping machines, one power generator, 25 zinc plates used for fabricating local crude oil distillers, one welding machine, and 32 sawed pipes used by oil thieves. The troops also impounded four metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities during the operations which took place from November 11 to 22, 2013.

Colonel Nwachukwu further stated that seven suspects were arrested for oil theft-related offences. He revealed that the suspects were undergoing preliminary investigations before they would be handed over to prosecuting agencies.

Source: Radio Biafra.

JTF Smashes Militants’ Camp In Bakassi, Shuts Illegal Refineries, Seizes 4 Vessels.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, said its operatives have dismantled a militant camp in Bakassi local government area of Cross River State. The force disclosed that its operatives destroyed 59 illegal refineries, arrested seven suspects, and 4 barges in its offensive against oil thieves.

These disclosures were contained in a statement released Sunday in Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State capital, by the JTF’s media coordinator, Lieutenant-Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu. The statement added that several rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the camp.

“During the clamp down, the troops recovered 24 x 7.62mm round cartons, 5 Browning machine gun ammunitions, 3 x 7.62 mm round special and 7 live cartridges. Other items recovered from the camp include 4 machine gun belts and one passport fiber boat belonging to Inland Water Ways Agency,” the JTF stated.

According to Colonel Nwachukwu, the captured camp was known in the local area as “Efut Esighi.” He said the camp served as an operational base from which pirates and militants attacked their victims.

The spokesman said JTF operatives also destroyed three illegal crude oil distillation camps concealed in a forest at Agbede and Egwua, in Esako West and Warri South West local government areas of Edo and Delta States respectively. Also reportedly confiscated were items used for the militants’ illicit acts, including seven steel surface tanks, seven locally fabricated ovens used for heating up stolen crude oil, 235 metal drums and four dug-out pits containing stolen crude oil.

The JTF added that its agents shut down shut down 56 illegal crude oil distillation camps in operations carried out in Bayelsa and Rivers States. According to its spokesman, JTF troops destroyed 16 “Cotonou” boats, 22 pumping machines, one power generator, 25 zinc plates used for fabricating local crude oil distillers, one welding machine, and 32 sawed pipes used by oil thieves. The troops also impounded four metal barges and a speed boat caught engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities during the operations which took place from November 11 to 22, 2013.

Colonel Nwachukwu further stated that seven suspects were arrested for oil theft-related offences. He revealed that the suspects were undergoing preliminary investigations before they would be handed over to prosecuting agencies.

We’ll deal with MEND –JTF.


mend

There is no end in sight to the war of words between the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Pulo Shield as the latter has vowed to clamp down on the former over its activities in the Niger Delta region.
Reacting to the claims by MEND that it was behind the killing of soldiers in a community between Rivers and Bayelsa states and the hijack of a vessel and kidnapping of two American sailors. JTF described those behind MEND as drowning gangsters feeding Nigerians with fabricated stories.
The media coordinator of JTF, Lt. Col Onyeama Nwachukwu while reacting to the pronouncement maintained that MEND did not cause the fire incident at the Warri Refinery and argued that the soldiers killed in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers were not killed by MEND soldiers.
Nwachukwu stated that the JTF would soon descend on MEND just like it has been able to smoke out other criminals causing instability in the region in the recent past.
His statement read in part: “These claims are a reflection of the grandiose illusion of drowning gangsters.
“It is no longer news that their insatiable and desperate desire to conjure up a seeming apocalypse in order to make the world see the Niger Delta as insecure has again failed, as they have continuously fed the public with lies of a grossly failed ‘Hurricane Exodus.’
“The NNPC Warri refinery fire incident, which the NNPC have clearly stated was accidental and occurred when their engineers were working in the top unit of the refinery, is a crystal clear example of the false claims of these criminals.
Our troops in the Andoni incident defended the civilians they escorted gallantly by ensuring their safety. How come the so called MEND did not claim responsibility before now as they would have usually done?
It is simply because they had no knowledge of it until we made it public and ridiculously they have jumped at it for self glorification.
“This claim is therefore an afterthought. The Merchant vessel named Retriever hijacked off the coast by unknown pirates was not at all escorted. It is a Merchant vessel, which had no escort and no JTF presence, how then could JTF have suffered casualty in that incident?”he asked.

Source: Radio Biafra.

$200,000 Was Paid As Ransom For Sister of Presidential Aide Oronto Douglas, MEND Says.


Augusta Ayam Douglas
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today said it could authoritatively confirm that the sum of 200,000 US Dollars was paid as ransom to the kidnappers of the sister of Mr. Oronto Douglas, Special Advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research and Strategy, contrary to the claim by the family.

MEND also claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s killing, in Rivers State, of three soldiers and a policeman in a confrontation in Andoni.

In a review of the week October 20 – 26 distributed on Saturday, the group said that it has now infliltrated all the oil companies operating in Nigeria, and that several well-heads and feeder pipe lines were damaged by its ‘Hurricane Exodus’ in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which we earlier infiltrated with the full recruitment of a high level agent resulted in the successful sabotage from within on October 22, 2013,” the group said.  “Throwing a ‘spanner in the works’ does not require rocket science or commando skills to execute. It only takes a belief in our cause to make things happen.”

MEND reported that in Rivers State, on that same day the Warri Refinery was sabotaged, a Joint Task Force (JTF) escort gun boat was engaged in a shootout in the Andoni Local Government area.  Contrary to the version given by the Nigerian Army spokesman, it said, the soldiers were not ambushed but confronted and the attackers were not armed robbers but MEND fighters who killed the three soldiers and a policeman in what MEND called a one-sided skirmish.

“In Brass, Bayelsa State, another boat belonging to the Joint Task Force (JTF) was attacked by another MEND team on the same day the two (2) American sailors, both of whom are psychologically and physically in good health, were abducted.  All the security operatives were killed and their weapons collected. This incident has been conveniently concealed by the JTF.”

MEND observed that some so-called ex-militants and jobless youths who have sold their birth rights for handouts were again paid to declare that militancy ended in 2009.

“As they continue to delude themselves, display their ignorance and irrelevance, the region, as can be seen by the world is in turmoil that can no longer be hidden,” the statement said.  “We dare the so-called ex-generals to come out from their hiding in Abuja into the creeks to restore order. Also the Niger Delta Amnesty office in the Presidency, issued a contradictory statement that MEND only exists on cyberspace. You may recall that this same office made a public appeal to MEND to refrain from our threat to attack mosques in retaliation to Boko Haram’s attacks on churches. They also made a private appeal for the Chevron Tank Farm in Escravos to be spared from mortar attacks which were scheduled for October 01, 2013.”

With reference to the abduction of two Americans of an oil supply vessel on Wednesday by pirates, MEND reiterated that the group is an armed auxiliary outfit and that the group singled out the two Americans on board.

“This action was also to show their disdain and content for an on-going Joint Naval Exercise with foreign Navies in the Delta Region,” the statement said.  “We have informed their abductors that Mr Henry Okah would have wanted the men released as soon as possible.”

In a gloating tone, the statement concluded, “As hurricanes are an art of God, we believe the successes been recorded so far by ‘Hurricane Exodus’, is ordained by God.”

Kidnappers Abduct Oronto Douglas’ Sister In President Jonathan’s Community In Bayelsa.


 

Oronto Douglas during his father’s burial in Okoroba
By SaharaReporters, New York

A sister of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s Special Assistant on Research and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas, was kidnapped by gun men on Monday night in Ogbia, the President’s Local Government area in Bayelsa State.

The victim, Augusta Douglas Ayam, who runs a shop at her residence in Ogbia, is reported to have been picked up in her home by the abductors.

The kidnappers were said to have arrived, shooting into the air to scare people away.  They then seized Augusta and took her away in a boat to an unknown destination in the creeks.

Sources at the Joint Task Force headquarters in Yenagoa confirmed that the incident has been reported.  A manhunt for the kidnappers has been launched.

A family spokesperson, Gift Douglas, also confirmed to SaharReporters that Ms. Augusta was abducted stating that the kidnappers have not contacted the family.

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