Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The defence headquarters has ordered an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the killing of four soldiers in Letugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to investigations, the soldiers were on an escort duty over the weekend when suspected sea-pirates ambushed them killing them and two civilians.
The killing and fear of reprisal attack had been rife with some people accusing the military of invading Letugbene community and burning it down in search of the suspected killers.
However, the spokesman for Operation Delta Safe, Major Victor Olukoya in statement titled “Military will never invade any community in Niger Delta,” denied the invasion of any community in Bayelsa or anywhere in the Niger Delta region.
Olukoya who confirmed the death of the four soldiers said investigation was on-going to unmask those behind the attack.
The statement read in part: “The Operation DELTA SAFE (OPDS) whose mandate is to ‘Protect oil and gas infrastructure, deter and prevent militancy, sea robbery, crude oil theft and other forms of criminality within the joint operations area that could impact negatively on economic activities in the Niger Delta’ wishes to inform the public of an unfortunate incident.
“Troops while carrying out their routine duty within its area of responsibility on Sunday 16 February 2020 at about 6 pm were ambushed by unknown gunmen and four soldiers were killed in action. However, investigation is ongoing to ascertain the person’s or groups behind the attack.
It is important to state here that contrary to an online report; the men of OPDS did not invade any community in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa state as a result of the incident.
“Please be informed that the Nigerian military is an organised and disciplined force and all its operations are guided by codes of conduct and rules of engagement.
“Thus, cannot be seen to behave in the manner that was described by the online reporter.
“The Commander Operation DELTA SAFE along with Commander 16 Brigade and Commander Sector 2 on operational visit was in Letugene, Beneside, Ogbotobo and Tunu among other communities in the LGA, and observed the citizens going about their lawful duties without any hindrance.
“The commander, therefore, urged the good people of Ekeremor LGA to please remain law-abiding, as the command will fish out the perpetrators of the ungodly act and ensure a secured environment for all.”