Buhari's promise to treat areas that did not
vote for him unequally has created grievous
mistrust on GMB’s government and may have
unsettled concerned areas. Fear about the
return of militancy in the Niger Delta yesterday
enveloped Bayelsa State following a daring
attack by unknown gunmen on a military
base at Ogbolomabiri in Nembe Local
Government Area, Bayelsa State.
The gunmen suspected to be militants overran
and sacked the Joint Task Force (JTF)/
Operation Pulo Shield base, killing four
soldiers and a mobile policeman. They struck
in four speed boats loaded.
The task force is charged with the
responsibility of keeping the peace in the state
which was notorious for kidnapping, piracy
and illegal bunkering.
Oil bunkering has long been a major cost to
Nigeria’s treasury, which depends on oil for
around 70 percent of its earnings.
Another mobile policeman went missing after
the incident which occurred at 11:30pm on
The gunmen were said to have invaded the
base in a coordinated land and water
Sources said they ransacked the base and
took their time to cart away all the rifles and
ammunition of the security operatives.
An army gunboat was also said to have been
taken away by them.
A source who described the incident as
horrific said the security operatives were
overwhelmed by the number and sophisticated
weapons of the attackers.
The source said the gunmen operated for over
30 minutes shooting unceasingly.
He said: “It was a shooting spree. Though the
security operatives were caught unawares,
there was little or nothing they could do
because of the number of the gunmen and the
kind of arms they came with.
“Some of the gunmen engaged the military
base from the waterways while others were
shooting from land. The security operatives
tried unsuccessfully to stop them. They paid
with their lives. Some few fortunate ones
escaped”, he said.
He added: “It was obvious that they came for
the arms and ammunition of the soldiers.
They carted away all the arms and rifles and
fled with a military gunboat.
“We don’t know the motive behind the stealing
of arms in this area. Could it be because of
the forthcoming election or could it be a plan
to start a fresh round of militancy in the
A top security source who also spoke in
confidence described the attack as planned,
coordinated and executed with the evil
intention of stealing and stockpiling arms.
He said the action of the gunmen caused
panic in Nembe communities.
The bodies of the murdered security
operatives were recovered and deposited at
the mortuary of the Nembe General Hospital.
Continuing, the source said:”there is a serious
problem in the Niger Delta region. We have
been raising the alarm of functional and active
militant camps operating in the region despite
the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
“The most disturbing one is this trend of
attacking security operatives and stealing their
arms. They have been doing this. The one
they did in Cross River State was also
massive. They are stockpiling arms.”
Defence spokesman Colonel Rabe Abubakar
blamed the attack on “suspected oil
He said: “The Joint Task Force Operation
PULO SHIELD has moved into action to arrest
and apprehend the perpetrators of this
unpatriotic and callous attacks.
“The military will deal decisively with anybody
or group involved in this and similar acts of
attacks or sabotage on the nation’s
He advised the general public in the affected
community to go about their normal business
activities, and solicited their cooperation by
given timely information to the military or any
other security agencies to avert future re-
occurrence of the ‘ugly incidence’.
The Defence Headquarters also reiterated its
commitment to ensuring the protection of lives
and property of innocent citizens nationwide.
Speaking separately on the development,
JTF’s Coordinator, Joint Campaign Media
Centre (JMCC), Lt. Col. Isa Ado, said : “We
are working on getting the real details. The
JTF is on the move to apprehend the
hoodlums. We won’t relent on our efforts of
fighting criminality in the region.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO),
Mr. Butswat Asinim, said details at the
disposal of the police suggested that four
soldiers and a policeman were killed in the
He said: “On the 7 August, 2015, at about
11:30pm, four speedboats loaded with
unknown gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates
attacked the Joint Task Force (JTF) Base, at
Nembe Water front, in Nembe LGA, killing four
soldiers and one policeman.
“The gunmen carted away two HP Guns and
other arms from the Base. A combined team
of the JTF, Marine Police and the Navy are
combing the creeks to recover the arms and
arrest the culprits”. A combined military and
police team was searching local creeks to find
the attackers last night.
Source: The Nation