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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Navy deploys 20 gunboats to tackle Avengers in N/Delta; residents, oil-workers flee

The Nigerian Navy has deployed military hardware including 20 patrol boats to the Niger Delta region, following the threat made by the Niger Delta Avengers, to resume hostilities, New Telegraph reports.

The development was made public by Navy Captain Suleman Dahun, Acting Director of Information.

Dahum disclosed that 16 locally constructed Epenal and four Rigid Hall boats are to be inducted in order to stem the tide of crude oil theft, sea piracy, and other coastal crimes.

The Avengers had vowed to resume attacks on strategic oil facilities across the Niger Delta region, as it announced a suspension of the ceasefire agreement it earlier reached with the federal government.

As a result of the development, residents and oil workers have reportedly begun fleeing from the region.

According to an unidentified source: "The oil companies are on their toes, warning staffers to take their leave or face consequences of the militants' actions."

In the same vein, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Chairman of Kokodiagbene Community Development Union in Gbaramatu Kingdom, disclosed that since the militants issued their threat, several indigenes have fled from the area, while others live in constant fear for their lives.

He stated: "Of course, we are living in fear of the unknown because we don't know what hour, what minute, what second, the boys may strike."

Mulade further disclosed that the threat had compelled the Gbaramatu monarch to place youths in the kingdom on communal surveillance, to prevent breakdown of law and order.

 king of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Pere Williams Ogoba, Oboro II, warned operatives of the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers and all those aiming to attack oil pipelines, to stay off his kingdom.

The monarch, who spoke through the spokesman of the Gbaramatu traditional council, Godspower Gbenekama, urged the federal government to rein-in the nation's military and call them off his area as he stated that his kingdom was not at war with the Nigerian state.

The warning against the Avengers and all vandals of the nation's critical facilities came on the heels of fresh apprehension in Gbaramatu, over recent deployment of military hardware in the area, including gunboats and military aircraft.
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