Army discover 23 human skeletons at militant shrines

FILE PHOTO: Police stand over a cache of weapons recovered from Niger Delta militants

FILE PHOTO: Police stand over a cache of weapons recovered from Niger Delta militants

Nigerian Army discovered 23 human skeletons in four shrines belonging to militants in Cross River state.

The Army on the platform of Operation Delta Safe raided Ikot Ene Idem, Abakpa and Ikang Inam in Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas of the State where they found the shrines.

Two suspects were arrested and have been accused of being agents of Bakassi Strike Force Militants who act as spies.

The troops carried out another operation in Rivers State, following a distress call from Finima in Bonny of an attack by some cult members using AK 47 riffles to terrorise members of the community.

The suspected king pin popularly referred to as Eagle Face dived into the river on sighting troops.

Two of the suspected cult members were arrested while one locally made pistol, one machete and two handsets were recovered.

According to the military, the body of the suspected king pin was later seen floating in the creeks by locals who recovered and buried the corpse at Bonny River bank.

The Acting Commander of the Tasks Force, Brig.- Gen. Kevin Aligbe, has reassured residents and oil companies in the Niger Delta region of their safety and advised that they should go about their legitimate businesses.

Militant activities had resurged in the Niger Delta region last year, with militants attacking oil installations in the region.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

They had said they agreed to a ceasefire and would begin negotiation with the Federal Government but later resumed attacks, claiming it was launched as a warning to the military to stop harassing youths in the Niger Delta.

It would be recalled that on 28 October, the Nigerian government said it will invest $10bn (£8bn) in the oil-rich south to end an insurgency by Niger Delta militants.

The money would be used to build infrastructure, including roads and railways, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said.

Militant attacks have severely disrupted oil production, fuelling a recession in the West African state.

The militants have been demanding that the government spend more of its oil wealth on tackling widespread poverty in a region, known as the Niger Delta.

They also accuse multinational firms of polluting the environment, destroying the livelihoods of farming and fishing communities.

Mr Kachikwu said that President Muhammadu Buhari would meet the militants and community leaders next week.

“Our target is to ensure zero militancy in the area,” he said.

“This planned meeting shows the level of interest the president has to ensure peace in the area.”

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