Niger Delta 'We'll respect negotiation efforts but don't dare us,' Military warns militants

The military said it will abide with the negotiation efforts of the government but will not take kindly any attack on its men.

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Nigerian soldiers gather during preparations for their deployment to Mali, at the army's peacekeeping centre in Nigeria play Nigerian soldiers gather during preparations for their deployment to Mali, at the army's peacekeeping centre in Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna January 17, 2013. (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)
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The Nigerian military has warned militants in the Niger Delta that it will retaliate proportionately if they attack its location in the region, despite the ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government.

According to the Defence Headquarters, the military will abide with the negotiation effort of the government but will not take kindly any attack on its men.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the DHQ spokesman, Rabe Abubakar.

"The military will respond proportionately to any armed attacks against its location in a decisive but professional manner in line with its constitutional mandate of defending innocent citizens as well as national critical infrastructure," the statement read.

The military stressed that it has the capacity to defend itself "just as it did recently when a group of misguided elements under the militancy guise attacked its location at Efut Esighi waterfront in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State where they paid dearly for their evil act."

It also warned various criminal groups in either the Niger Delta or any other part of the nation to shun any act of violence capable of threatening national security or "they will regret the consequences of their evil action."

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The Armed Forces added that it will continue to partner with peace-minded groups and stakeholders to bring ensure peace in any security threatened areas or locations in the country.

The military had launched Operation Delta Safe and Exercise Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta region to contain the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups.

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