Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Four hundred and nineteen oil pipeline vandalism attempts by hoodlums were foiled in the Niger Delta region in 2019, the Nigerian military has said.
Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, the Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), said the operation led to uninterrupted oil exports in 2019.
According to him, the pipelines belonged to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and other oil giants operating in the Niger Delta region.
Rear Admiral Akinrinade disclosed this over the weekend while speaking as a guest of honour during the West Africa Social Activities (WASA) of the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army.
Akinrande, who singled out efforts of officers and men to reduce crime in the Niger Delta region, noted that the 16 Brigade Garrison, which is part of the OPDS, has contributed enormously to the operational achievements of the military in 2019.
“Significantly the Joint Task Force has averted over 419 attempted infractions on SPDC pipelines as well as other export pipelines. This alone is about 72.2% of the total attempt made on these assets. The 16 Brigade since its take off in 2017 has no doubt done well in the discharge of its constitutional roles in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai. This is evidently manifested in the drastic reduction in the numbers of crimes within the brigade area of responsibility. I am happy that the Nigerian Army keeps this age-long tradition of bringing officers, their family and friends to socialise. This has helped to foster esprit de corps and promote the civil-military relationship.
The Commander 16 Brigade, Brig-Gen ET Essien in his comments explained that WASA activities are customarily marked by the Nigerian Army to end each training year and to usher in the next year.
According to him, given the significance of the annual event, the Chief of Army Staff directed all Nigerian Army formations and units to conduct the year 2019 WASA in upholding our age-long unique military tradition.
Essien, looking back at 2019, commended soldiers and officers of 16 Brigade for recording overwhelming success in its area of responsibility.
“The Brigade Area of Responsibility covers the entire Bayelsa State and part of Rivers State. The Brigade has been highly committed. The year 2019 training cycle ended with lauded achievements and successes in our training and operational activities. Noted successes were recorded in anti-bunkering operations and as well as the conduct of Operation Crocodile Smile IV, fighting illegal oil theft, sabotage and other criminal activities in the state. This was made possible by the zeal and foresight of soldiers and officers of the Brigade.”