FG To Raise Civilian JTF In Niger Delta

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There are indications that the Federal Government may have
concluded plans to establish a private security outfit similar to that of
civilian Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta.

The new outfit, according to top military sources, would
help the armed forces, the police and other security agencies in the Niger
Delta curb the spate of illegal bunkering which has adversely affected the
nation’s economy.
Daily Sun reliably gathered that the plan to bring the
outfit on board started early this year and had reached an advance stage.
Military sources told Daily Sun that already persons to be
recruited into the private security outfit have been contacted. 
Those to be
recruited into the Civilian JTF, which was first established in the
North-eastern part of the country to work with the military to tackle
insurgency, include youths from the area and other volunteers.
Sources also said repentant militants as well as some
militants who are tired of the continuous bombing of oil pipelines and other
government installations and those whose illegal refineries have been
destroyed, have shown interest to be members of the Civilian JTF in the Niger
Delta.
Daily Sun further gathered that some community and youth
leaders as well as past leaders of militant groups have been contacted to see
to the recruitment process of interested persons.
They are among others to ensure that those to be recruited
are of good character and do not have any criminal records, while the
government would work the amount to be paid as salary to them.
When contacted, the acting Director, Defence Information,
Brigadier-General Abubakar Rabe, confirmed the report and described it as a
welcome development.
Rabe, in a telephone interview said: “Any measure that would
bring peace and equally apprehend those who are going about vandalizing oil
pipelines, I think, is a welcome development and we will work assiduously to
ensure that whatever instrument is put in place works well for the overall
interest of the country.
Meanwhile, ahead of a scheduled meeting between Niger Delta
leaders and President Mohammadu Buhari, a militant group, Niger Delta Defence
Corps (NDDC) have threatened to blow up two pipelines in Delta and Rivers
states
According to its spokesman, Major General John Egbe, the
group has sent its letter to Buhari through the Secretary to the Federal
Government (SGF), but was yet to receive an invitation to send a representative
to the meeting.
He declared that failure to invite the group would have dire
consequences as the group would carry out attacks on oil pipelines.
Egbe said it was not late to include a representative of the
group to ensure that the crisis in the region is resolved. “We the Niger Delta
Defence Corps (NDDC) militant group disagree with the step of dialogue system
by the President. 
“We have sent the government our letter through the SGFís
office. Our representative is yet to receive invitation. For that, we are going
to blow up two pipelines in Delta and Rivers states as part of protest in this
cause.
Militants under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers
(RNDA) and Niger Delta Peoples Professional Volunteers Force (NDPPVF) have
kicked against the composition of the PNDF, calling for a re-composition if the
proposed meeting would have their blessings.

The two militant groups in a joint statement to Chief Clark
signed by Cynthia Whyte called for the inclusion of Mr. Timipa Jenkins
Okonipere as a member of PNDF because of his understanding knowledge on the
problems in the region and his link with the militant group or they would
withdraw support for the meeting.

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