Troops of Operation Delta Safe have destroyed illegal oil refining sites in the Ibaa community of Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Commander of OPDS, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, told newsmen that the operation was carried out on Tuesday, adding that the military acted in line with its mandate to protect oil facilities and critical national infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
Ferreira said operation of illegal refining sites was tantamount to economic sabotage.
He stated, “Operation Delta Safe has a mandate from the Defence Headquarters to protect oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta for economic activities to thrive.
“Operation Delta Safe is meant to deter the activities of criminal elements who set up illegal refining sites like we just saw. One of them was destroyed here in Ibaa.
“So, our mandate is to go after these criminals and destroy the illegal refining sites in pursuance of the mandate of OPDS.
“Like we have always sent out warning messages to these criminals, OPDS will not relent in its efforts in carrying out its mandate.
“We will go after them no matter where they are or where they go. They have no room to hide. OPDS will go after them anywhere; and we are equal to the task.”
He therefore warned youths in the region to desist from pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities and embrace options made available to them by the government.
“Our task as military men is to carry out kinetic operations. However, the government has also opened up non-kinetic approaches for them to embrace.
“In pursuance of this mandate, we urge them to also look at stopping these acts of criminality, which they have been perpetrating. We will continue to do what is expected of us. But the onus is on them to also have a rethink and desist from such criminal acts.”