BY Samuel¬† Oyadongha
Yenagoa‚ÄîJoint Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta, has adopted a non-combatant approach to the security campaign against illegal bunkering in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta communities.
JTF‚Äôs current strategy is to engage the elders and traditional heads of the communities to reach out to the youths on the need to avoid the illegal act.
Operatives of the 146 battalion of JTF, according to its Spokesman, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, had been deployed to Okpomakiri, K-Dere and B-Dere and communities in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, to commence the exercise.
Nwachukwu, in a statement in Yenagoa, said the operatives, while on a sensitisation visit to the communities, admonished the elders on the dangers inherent in community youths engaging in pipeline vandalism.
He said: ‚ÄúThey solicited the support of the elders of the community in curbing the menace and urged them to caution their youths to desist from any acts of illegality.‚Äù
Meanwhile, JTF said it had seized a self-propelled (V1) barge and scuttled 22 illegal crude oil distillation camps, 18 open boats, 133 plastic surface tanks and 28 pumping machines used in crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The self-propelled barge, according to JTF, was intercepted by the Maritime Component troops of the JTF deployed at Forward Operations Base, FOB, in Burutu, Delta State on the Bonny Channel, with stolen petroleum product.