The defence headquarters (DHQ) has vowed to deal decisively with militants in the Niger Delta.
Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesman, said this in statement issued on Tuesday.
Abubakar said the militants were threatening the economic lifeline of the country, and the military would not hesitate to do all within its powers to “crush” them.
“The defence headquarters (DHQ) is not unaware of the emergence of a Niger Delta group that has vowed to cripple economic activities through pipeline vandalism, oil theft and kidnap of expatriate workers in that region; it will not hesitate to deploy every available resources to deal decisively with any threats to economic lifeline of the nation,” the statement read.
“The military will employ all available means and measures within its rule of engagement to crush any individual or group that engages in the destruction of strategic assets and facilities of the government in the Niger Delta or any other location and they will stand to regret the consequences of their actions. The whole world has seen what they are causing in terms of economic terrorism against the nation and would be treated as criminals in line with the laws of the land.
“While the military and other security agencies would continue to emplace more proactive measures within the creeks and other places to fish out those responsible for the heinous crime, it will remain focused and assure oil companies and law abiding community members of their safety and protection of their sanctity.
“The DHQ advises the community leaders, traditional rulers and the general public to cooperate with the security agencies to ensure the apprehension of the culprits for the interest of our great nation; as no individual or group interest is above national interest of this country.”
Last week, group of militants called “Niger Delta Avengers” launched a flurry of attacks on oil installations in Delta state.
They have also threatened to launch more attacks in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the army has announced the arrest of 17 suspected cultists and armed robbers lleged to have carried out several killings in Rivers state.
Eli Lazarus, assistant director, army public relations, 2 brigade, Nigerian army, Port Harcourt, presented arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects to journalists in Port Harcourt.
He called on members of the public to provide security agencies with timely information that would lead to arrest of criminals in the state and in its environs.