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‘Military foils vandalism attempts on pipelines’

The Joint Military Force deployed to protect oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta said on Saturday that it prevented more than 419 attacks on oil export facilities last year alone.

The feat led to uninterrupted oil exports in the outgone year. Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, commander of the joint force, said that the operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company as well as other international oil companies were the key targets.

Akinrinade spoke during the West Africa Social Activities (WASA), organised by the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Yenagoa.

He explained that efforts of the military, particularly those of the officers and men of the 16 Brigade, have drastically reduced the level of crimes in the Niger Delta.

According to him, the 16 Brigade Garrison, which is part of the Operation Delta Safe, contributed enormously to the operational achievements of the Joint Task Force in 2019.

He said: “Significantly, the Joint Task Force has averted over 419 attempted infractions on Shell Petroleum Development Company major pipelines as well as other export pipelines.

This alone is about 72.2% of the total attempts made on these assets. The 16 Brigade, since its take off in 2017, has no doubt done well in the discharge of its constitutional roles in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.”

Akinrinade said that the performance of the brigade particularly in the just concluded exercise Crocodile Smile IV was also highly commendable.

He said that this manifested in the drastic reduction in the numbers of crimes within the brigade area of responsibility.

The commandant urged officers and men of brigade to remain focused and not to be complacent. “I am happy that Nigerian Army keeps this age-long tradition of bringing officers, their family and friends to socialise, this has helped to foster esprit-de-corps and promote civil military relationship. This event is to promote rich cultural heritage and promote unity in diversity. It also reminds us of the important place that culture and tradition occupy in our social life.”