Nigerian Troops Capture Suspected Members of Niger Delta Avengers
FIVE suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, captured by soldiers after the bombing of Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, pipeline at Makaraba community, Gbaramatu clan, in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, on Friday, have been relocated to the 19th Battalion, Nigerian Army, Koko, Warri North. Military sources told Sunday Vanguard that the suspects were transferred to the Army facility in the early hours of yesterday, just as fierce-looking soldiers invaded Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in search of militants bombing pipelines in the state.
The incursion was the second time security agents were storming Oporoza in five days.
The security agencies have instruction from President Muhammadu Buhari to crush the NDA which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil installations and pipelines bearing petroleum products in recent times in the Niger Delta. Sunday Vanguard’s efforts to get the spokesperson for the Joint Task Force, Col Isa Ado, to comment on the latest development on the new wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta, yesterday, were unsuccessful, as he did not respond to calls and text messages to his cell phone.
A security source, who spoke to our correspondents on the Friday attack, however, said: “They (suspected Avengers’ militants) were arrested immediately the blast occurred following the cordoning off of the scene of the incident by security operatives stationed to protect oil facilities in the area.
“The suspects were taken into the custody of the army in the area, but are yet to make statements or admit if they are members of the Niger Delta Avengers or otherwise.” Unlike the previous attacks, which the Avengers claimed responsibility, it did not admit it carried out the most recent Makaraba pipeline attack.
How soldiers struck again
Sunday Vanguard sources in Oporoza said the military men, numbering about 30, stormed the riverine community at about 7.30 am, yesterday, in four gunboats and strutted about, evoking suspicions of imminent brutalization in the fatigued villagers. Last Monday, at about 12.30 am, soldiers visited the community on a similar mission and did not depart until 5.00 am.
A community leader, who narrated the incident, said: “They came at about 7.30 am and left several hours later.
It was obvious that they had come to intimidate us because soldiers do not just come to your community in that way for the fun of it. “But because they were not talking to us, some of the villagers approached them to find out what their mission was and they said they were in search of militants, who bombing pipelines.”
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