Fears Heighten In Niger Delta As Ex- militants, Regroup, Reactivate Camps

■ 3 militants killed during gun battle with soldiers
■ APC moves to control Bayelsa
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The fear of resurgence of militancy in the Niger
Delta region has set off alarm bells in military
circles.
The fears may not been unconnected to grumblings
among ex-militants in the Niger Delta region and
the recent discovery of a militant camp by
Operation Pulo Shield (OPS) formerly Joint Task
Force (JTF) in Delta State, which led to a-30 minute
gun duel between soldiers and militants camp at
Benigboye in Burutu Local Government Area of
Delta State.
Checks indicated that some boys, who had passed
through the amnesty, have regrouped and are
setting up camps in the creeks.
Military sources said the raid on hideout of
militants on September 5 and 6 in Delta State has
confirmed that there is threat of resurgence of
militancy if it is not nipped in the bud.
The new Commander of OPS, Major General Alani
Okunola confirmed at a press briefing that soldiers
were involved in a gun battle with militants and
that arms and ammunition were recovered.
He further disclosed that a follow-up raid in
Odimodi community also in Delta State led to the
arrest of one Mr. Ebiwame Lamia who had escaped
arrest from the September 5 raid.
According to him, sophisticated weapons
recovered include, Medium Machine Gun, AK 47
light machine gun and AK 47 automatic rifle.
“Other weapons recovered from the suspected
militants are one Fabrique Nationale, SMI and G3
rifled.
“The troops also recovered one single barrelled
gun, 7.62mm Nato special ammunition, 11
quantity of improvised explosive devices, identity
cards belonging to Oroso Kpasco, Iyadoufega
Nuwent, Clifford Ebikabowei and Emmanuel
Stanley.
Also recovered was an Automated Teller Machine
card belonging to Mr. Ingo Kpasco, a suspected
hoodlum at Odimodi community recently.”
Okunola said during interrogation, Lamia
confessed that three militants died during the raid
on the camp at Benigboye, while their leader, Mr.
Ayas Abdulrahman Ingo escaped with gunshot
wounds.
He warned criminals in the region to desist from all
acts of illegalities, vowing that the OPS would
continue to match word with action in the fight
against criminalities in line with the zero-tolerance
campaign.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the All Progressive
Congress (APC) is making moves to ensure the
party wins the December 5 governorship election
to ensure Bayelsa State is not used as a launching
pad against the President Muhammadu Buhari
government.
Investigations revealed the interest former
President Goodluck Jonathan has shown in the
governorship election by backing the re-election
bid of incumbent Governor Henry Seriake Dickson
and the campaign against APC by branding the
PDP as an Ijaw party, has informed the new
position of the leadership of the party.
Sources said the national leadership has zeroed in
on former Governor Timipre Sylva and former
Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development
Commission (NDDC), Mr Ndutimi Alaibe for either
of them to take the APC governorship ticket.
Both aspirants are believed to be strong forces in
the Niger Delta and would be able to keep the ex-
militants under control and would prevent a
resurgence of militancy in the region through
promptings from disgruntled politicians.

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