The Joint Force in the Niger Delta code-named Operation Pulo Shield has warned groups of pipeline vandals plotting to bomb oil facilities in the region to think twice.
The security outfit in a statement on Friday by the Co-ordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Col. Isa Ado said the warning became imperative following reported threats by a group, ‘The Niger Delta Avengers’ to launch co-ordinated attacks on oil pipelines in the area.
The group, according to the statement, had claimed responsibility for the recent major attacks on pipelines in the region including the bombing of Shell underwater pipeline in February this year and the Egwa I attacks in Delta State.
The Joint Force headquartered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,said it would be in the best interest of the group, if they exist, to desist from acts of economic sabotage as its operatives will crush any vandal who engage in such nefarious activities.
“The Operation Pulo Shield which is saddled with the mandate of protecting Nigeria’s oil pipelines and preventing other oil related crimes hereby reiterate its resolve to crackdown on vandals and economic saboteurs and also ensure the arrest of perpetrators and accomplices for prosecution.
“Anybody or group masquerading as militants are criminals and will be resisted and crushed in line with the mandate of the Joint Force in Niger Delta. The Federal Government of Nigeria granted amnesty to repentant agitators and the grant automatically ends militancy and agitation in the region.
“Any group or persons by whatever guise will be treated like common criminals. The Force had carried out aggressive patrols and surveillances within the waterways and the creeks which had led to the arrest of suspects, arms and ammunition, illegal oil bunkering vessels and barges which are at various stages of prosecution in Nigerian courts of competent jurisdictions,” it warned.