Nigerian defence challenges Niger-Delta youths to peace

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Reacting to Sunday’s declaration of ceasefire in the ‘oil war’ launched by militants last week, the Defence Head Quarters said if the restive youths in the region are actually serious about stopping their acts of brigandage, they should show it by laying down their arms for the sake of national interest.

The Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Mohammed Yusuf, in a brief statement challenged militants in the Niger Delta to lay down their arms if they were truly committed to peace.

Reacting to the cease fire claims by the militants, the Defence Headquarters categorically and emphatically stated that the Nigerian Armed Forces is not at war with any individual or group and as such the issue of a cessation of fire or cessation of war as is being portrayed certainly does not arise.

The military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Rivers State had, on Sunday, said it was not deceived by Saturday’s one-sided ceasefire declared by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in its ‘oil war’, and said yesterday it would treat the group’s move with caution.

However JTF officials believe that if the unilateral ceasefire declared by MEND, is true, it will be a good development for them, the region, the nation and the international community.

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday however, confirmed that two of its members were killed while several other workers sustained various degrees of injuries in MEND recent attacks on an oil installation in Rivers State.

It was gathered that the two dead staff, an operator and a security guard, were both employees of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

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