News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Niger-Delta Youth leader condemns attack on troops

Nigerian troops in Niger Delta

Mr Kennedy West, a Youth Leader in the Niger Delta has condemned armed attack on troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and commiserated with the military over loss of life in the incident.

JTF troops had repelled an attack by militants and killed a suspected militant leader in a shoot-out with the bandits in Ondo State on April 30.

Spokesman of the Joint Force, Maj. Abubakar Abudullahi, had confirmed the development and said that a soldier was killed and three others injured during the shoot-out.

Reacting to the development, West, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters, told NAN in an interview on Sunday in Yenagoa that the attack was regrettable.

He noted that the attack came at a time the efforts of the military at restoring and sustaining peace and reducing criminality in the region were yielding fruits.

West further condoled with the Commander of JTF, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi and the family of the slain soldier and advised residents in the area to assist the military in fishing out fleeing militants behind the dastardly act.

“The attack coming at a time the JTF had achieved so much in terms of maintaining relative peace in the region is very sad, because the peace in the region had been boosting the confidence of investors.

“The community people should assist the military to track the militants because they are not only a threat to the military but they pose greater danger to the innocent population, it is even more condemnable due to efforts by stakeholders to change the perception of investors.

“Our people in the Niger Delta region should understand that violence has no benefit to the region.

“We have seen what has been achieved within the months of peace in terms of Federal Government’s commitment towards development of the region” West said.

He noted that stakeholders in the region were working tirelessly with the government and security agencies to guarantee conducive atmosphere for development and urged the military to remain focused and not allow the incident to dampen their morale.

West further urged the JTF to enlighten residents in the affected areas that the military was in the area to isolate the deviants and protect the people.