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The Nigerian Army has said that troops and equipment were deployed to Bayelsa State on Monday, August 1, in order to stop the militants who threatened to declare Niger Delta Rebublic.

A militant group known as the Adaka Boro Avengers had threatened to declare independence on Monday, but said it shelved the plan after the intervention of leaders including former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The joint military force responsible for security in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, said on Tuesday, August 2, that it would however remain “professional and civil” in dealing with security threats by militant groups in the area.

A Rear Admiral and commander of the joint operation, Joseph Okojie, who said this in Yenagoa, added that the deployment of troops and equipment noticed on Monday at Kaiama in Bayelsa was part of normal operations to keep the region safe.

Okojie, who briefed journalists after a meeting with unit commanders within Operation Delta Safe in Yenagoa, said the military has the freedom to be in any part of the country.

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria belongs to all of us and the armed forces have the freedom to be at any part of Nigeria at any time, we are merely doing our normal duty within our mandate.

“We were in Kaiama to show that Operation Delta Safe was on ground to ensure that the report by some faceless organisations about creating a ‘territory’ to themselves is not allowed to happen.

“The heavy presence being noticed in parts of the Niger Delta is part of our routine duties to guarantee the safety of law abiding that people of Niger Delta and ensure atmosphere conducive for economic activities.

“I am sure that we did not molest or intimidate anyone, we shall be professional and civil in the discharge of our duties.

“Our presence is part of our normal duty to reassure the people that there is no cause for alarm,” Mr. Okojie said.

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Okojie said the meeting with Component Commanders of Operation Delta Safe was to review the achievements of the operation to ensure that they were mission-oriented.

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