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Oil theft: Niger Delta youths laud JTF

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Youths in the Niger Delta represented by the Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP) have commended the Joint Task Force (JTF) for the strategies deployed in fighting oil theft in the region.

The president of the group, Kennedy Tonjo-West, who is also the Special Assistant to the Bayelsa State Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters, said the strategies saved the nation economic losses that would have run into billions on naira. He made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa yesterday.

He commended the leadership of the outgoing commander, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi and claims that it has helped curb oil theft and vandalism of oil infrastructure in the past three years.

“Clearly the operations of the joint military taskforce have drastically brought about relative peace and safety on the waterways and other travel routes in the Niger Delta.

“This improved security is boosting business investments and other daily socio-economic activities”, he said.

In related news, the new JTF boss, Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinriade, yesterday said the task force in the Niger Delta will have no mercy for oil thieves and other criminals in the region.

Speaking during the handover ceremony at the OPDS headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Akinrinade said tough times await criminal elements in the oil-rich region.

He said one of his strategies would be to strengthen the synergy and cohesion among the various units, components and formations of the task force.

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