We’ll flush out militants by force, no stories – Army

Brig.Gen. J. Hamakim also denied reports that the men of the Joint Task Force that went to the community, were maltreating residents, killing innocent people and raping women.

Niger Delta militants. 

The militant group has claimed responsibilityfor almost all the bomb blasts on offshore facilities belonging to major oil companies.

An Army representative, Brig.Gen. J. Hamakim,  made the announcement in reaction to accusations that they did not try to dialogue with the militants first, before laying siege on Gbaramatu kingdom.

He also denied reports that the men of the Joint Task Force that went to the community, were maltreating residents, killing innocent people and raping women.

The military representative said “We have done our investigation and nothing like that is happening.”

Hamakim, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai,said  “I quite agree that dialogue is very important. But where it is not too obvious that the adversary is ready to come out and talk, you can also force such a person.

“I think that is what the Nigerian Army is trying to do. Yes, we don’t know the group’s leader, for now; that is the only option, possibly we have to bring the people out to know who you can talk with.”

The military chief also said “Remember that lives were lost; policemen were killed; some were thrown overboard and the military has rules of engagement.

“The rule of engagement is that if you feel threatened, you have the mandate to respond. What we can say is that that was not at all a demonstration that you can say was peaceful.”

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has also denied reports that 10 of its members have been arrested by the Nigerian Army.

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