Despite the amnesty programme that was granted militants in the Niger Delta, which led to the disarmament of many various groups, a regrouping militancy camp located in the creeks of Delta State was, on Tuesday, demolished by the Joint Task Force, under the 19 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Koko, Warri North Local Government.
The demolition did not go without soldiers of the battalion engaging in a gun battle with the creek boys before success came the way of the soldiers, after which one suspect was arrested.
The destruction of the camp was effected as a result of the abduction of five oil workers in an overnight attack on an oil facility in Bayelsa State by an unknown militant group.
The regrouping militants were said to be involved in escalating spate of various illegal bunkering activities and kidnapping facilities.
This major military onslaught on militant camp would be the first in Delta State as nearly all militant leaders and their foot-soldiers surrendered their arms with their camps destroyed after they agreed to embrace peace in a “cash-for-arms” amnesty brokered by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua began in August 2009.
Nigerian Tribune gathered, however, that the camp was the remnant of ex-militant warlord, ‘General’ Ezekiel Akpasibowei-led notorious Egbesu Force, which was said to have been resuscitated, fortified and expanded.
Commanding Officer of 19 Brigade of Sector 1 of the JTF situated in Koko, Frank Etim, informed that the task force had been monitoring intelligence report on the presence of the militant camp in Adagbrasa/Itagbene in Warri North Local Government Area.
Etim, who could not give the name of the leader of the militant camp, said the camp was suspected to be that of ‘General’ Ezekiel that was apprehended during the amnesty days and had been resuscitated by this group of renegades.
According to him, the militant group could be linked to the recent abduction of three oil workers of the oil surveillance team on routine duty along the Benin River.
He said the exercise was carried out professionally without any casualty of any civilian in the neighbouring communities.