A group of Niger Delta ex-militants has called for the immediate sack of Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the Commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, for allegedly engaging in illegal oil bunkering.
The ex-militants who stated this in a communiqué after a meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, alleged that the JTF commander was “sabotaging the economic growth of Niger Delta and Nigeria in general…”
The group equally called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Rear Admiral Suleiman, and warned that “if the present JTF leadership is allowed to continue, it would be dangerous and difficult for the government to implement the 2018 budget through crude oil.”
In a communiqué jointly signed by General John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, and 13 other groups, the ex-militants said, “After receiving report from our intelligence and surveillance units and all the affiliate groups of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators across the region and beyond, which we mandated to investigate the activities of the JTF Commander in the Niger Delta, the shocking report indicts the JTF and its leadership of complicity and involvement in illegal oil bunkering of great magnitude in the Niger Delta.
“After careful deliberation on the report, we call on President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to order immediate removal of the JTF Commander, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, from the Niger Delta region.”
They also said, “We therefore call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices & other related offences Commission (ICPC), Office of the National Security Adviser and Military Authorities to as a matter of urgency remove and probe the activities of JTF Commander – Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman before it is too late.
“We also use this medium to call on the Ministry of Defence and Military Authorities to restructure the Joint Task Force (Operation Delta Safe) with immediate effect in order to avoid breakdown of law and order because we will not sit down and watch them conniving and stealing millions of crude oil barrels on daily basis.
“It is unfortunate that JTF whose responsibility is to protect oil and gas installations plays major role in supporting and stealing crude oil in the Niger Delta.
“We therefore warn that the government should immediately replace all the JTF personnel including the Commander in the Niger Delta. We shall not fold our arms and watch these illegal activities continue unabated,” the ex-militants stated.