The Nigerian Army may have made a major breakthrough in unmasking the new militia group in the Niger Delta region of the country.
This as it paraded10 suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) that has claimed the responsibility for the destruction of oil and gas pipelines in the region.
Speaking while parading the suspects in Benin, Edo State, Sunday, the Commander of the 4 Brigade, Benin, Brigadier-General Farouk Yahaya, said they were arrested at about 1:40am on Saturday, in Oporaza community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, following a cordon and search operation conducted in the community.
Yahaya explained that there had been several cases of sabotage by suspected militants and vandals in Delta State since January 1, 2016, as well as further warnings and threats “to shut down all operations” in the sector
He said several items were recovered from the arrested suspects.
They include 28 detonator cords (also known Detonator 33), one pistol, two empty pistol magazines, 196 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition, one round of nine-millimetre ammunition, a live cartridge and five daggers.
Also recovered were 15 handheld radio sets, 18 phones, 203 SIM cards of three major network providers, five swimsuits, two headlamps, a laptop, two ipads and a camera.
Others are seven wraps of substances suspected to be Indian hemp, five speedboat throttle cables, six pairs of hand gloves, N23,000 cash and a cheque book.
He said that although investigation would reveal the true identity of the suspects, recent explosions carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers suggested that the arrested suspects may be connected to the group.
He added, “Within the period under review, you can see that the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed virtually all acts of criminal activities against oil and gas and they continue threatening a shutdown of the whole sector. So, most likely, they (suspects) will be the people, who else would they be?
Recall Saturday soldiers invaded Oporoza community, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, in search of militants.
The community had cried that the invasion was to harass the community.