A TP Marine-manufactured 12 metre, .50 calibre HMG-armed K38 Combat Catamaran of the Nigerian Army Amphibious Forces
26 January, 2013
The Joint Task Force OPERATION PULO SHIELD has stepped up its patrol of the Niger Delta creeks in a recent operation where it destroyed 362 illegal oil cooking ovens usually referred to as “local refineries” in Kolokolo area and Bisigbo in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state; Igbematoru in Ijaw South Local Government and Sangana in Bayelsa state.
According to a press release made available to Beegeagle’s Blog by the JTF Media Coordinator Lt Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, 3 vessels and 7 barges engaged in oil theft were also scuttled by troops of the JTF in Opobo River,Bonny Local Government of Rivers State and Tomkiri in Brass local Government of Bayelsa state. The operation as well led to the scuttling of 75 wooden boats (Cotonou boats) conveying illegally siphoned petroleum products at Ogbokodo creek and Ugbokolo areas of Warri South West of Delta state. 175 suspects were arrested in the operation and handed over to prosecuting agencies for litigation.
Troops of the JTF embarked on the operation as the newly appointed Commander Joint Task Force OPERATION PULO SHIELD Major General Bata Debiro unfolded his strategy to stamp out illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta. The new Commander averred that he would be highly mobile and fluid in the fight against illegal oil bunkering.
He stated that sitting like a lame duck in the office is not his approach and had already embarked on an appraisal tour of troops’ deployments including Naval Forward Operational Bases (FOB) in Brass, Bonny, and Escravos. The tour also took him to Nigerian Navy Ship Delta(NNS Delta), a shore establishment in Warri and to amphibious troops of 3 Battalion and 146 Battalion and 343 Artillery Regiment of the Nigerian Army deployed in Warri, Bonny Island and Nembe respectively.
Giving his mission statement as the Commander of the multi agency security outfit, while on courtesy visit to military formation commanders, security agencies and traditional rulers’ council in Bayelsa State Capital, Yenagoa during the week, General Debiro stated unequivocally, that his mission is portrayed in the four word directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to the task force to “STOP ILLEGAL OIL BUNKERING”. According to the Commander, “Nigeria is the only country where people engage in oil theft with the connivance of our country men and we must put an end to it” .He pointed out that oil theft is tantamount to economic sabotage and a threat to the economic security and future generations of Nigeria.
General Debiro vowed to tackle the menace of oil theft vigorously to a point of complete extermination. He warned that no stone will be left unturned as he will also scrutinize the task force to ensure that any operative found compromising faces the wrath of the law. He urged all stake holders to partner with the JTF and to see the battle against oil thieves as a “must win battle” for all and not for the task force alone.