Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region including the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), codenamed ‘Operation Pulo Shield,’ yesterday agreed that the deployment of troops to the region would? not end the incessant cases of kidnapping,crude oil theft and Piracy in the six states of the region.
According to the JTF, the United Kingdom-based group, Stakeholders Democratic Network (SDN) and the anti-corruption group, the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative (IPDI), said though the deployment of security operatives was necessary to ward off criminal elements in the region,the recent upsurge in kidnapping,crude? oil theft and piracy could only be halted if the poor economic and unemployment situation in the region were tackled by government.
While the IPDI, through its National Coordinator,Ozobo Austin, argued that the kidnapping of the mother of the Bayelsa State House Speaker and many others in last few weeks may have been caused by the noticeable failures of the Amnesty Programme at providing employment after training, the coordinator of the Joint Media Centre of the JTF, Lt.Col.Nwachukwu said though nothing can justify a crime,the delay in the implementation of the post-flood plan and proper engagement of the ex-militant youths may have triggered restiveness and crime in the region.
The positions of the JTF,the IPDI and the SDN were contained in a response to the poser sent yesterday by the leadership in Yenagoa on the recent upsurge in kidnapping and sea piracy in Bayelsa and other Niger Delta states.