The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS) at the weekend said its military operations and civil interventions in the Niger Delta region boosted crude oil production in the country.
The Commander ODS, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, said the security outfit under his command increased crude oil production level from 900,000 barrels per day to two million.
Suleiman spoke when he received the Garkuwan Mattassan Arewa Icon of Societal Transformation Award from the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) at the Headquarters of ODS, Igbogene, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He said it was heartwarming that such revered association acknowledged all the work he and his troops were doing to stabilize the Niger Delta region in accordance with the mandate of the ODS.
He noted that the award would propel him to sustain the operational activities of the outfit to allow business to thrive in the environment.
“With this award we have been challenged to sustain the tempo of our operational activities to continue to stop the illegalities here, so that the environment will remain very secure for the business within this area to thrive”, he said.
While acknowledging that the security challenges in the region were different from those in the northern part of the country, Suleiman said military operations everywhere must be executed in harmony with their mandates.
He said: “At the time we took over this operation, the production level of the oil in this country was about 900,000 barrel a day but as it is now due to the effectiveness of our operational activities, we have kept the environment calm and secured. We are getting two million barrels and above every day.
“Whoever is conducting operation anywhere, anytime should remain committed to the mandate of that operation. Whatever we are doing here might not be enough to solve the problems in the North because they are not exactly the same environment.
“I am a specialised trained officer, part of what I do is what I have been trained to do. So when I go to an environment I try to adapt the strategy that will solve the problem of the environment”.
Presenting the award to Suleiman, the National President, Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Isah Abubakar, commended the leadership style of the commander.
Abubakar observed that Suleiman’s courage in confronting the ills in the region brought a speed end to pipeline vandalism and enabled expatriates to undertake their businesses on the sea without fear.
He urged the commander to share his experience with his colleagues fighting insurgency in the north to return peace to the troubled region.
He said: “The commandant has actually exhibited one of the rare characters of leadership in Nigeria and as youth organisation it is our responsibility to propel individuals that have given in their best to the development of our country.
“The Niger Delta was a place where expatriates were afraid before but today they are not and some Northern states currently are facing insecurity, which has made the residents unsafe. We want you to share in his tactics in curbing these excesses.
“I have objectively condemned the activities of some military personnel. I won’t mention names. They have to rethink and re-strategise on the way they tackle insecurity in the Northern part of the country.
“We have never met the commander before. We have followed his activities and we are impressed with what he has done. That is one good thing with our council. We say it the way it is. We condemn persons who are not doing their best for this country but when you are doing your best we commend you. We are not bias”.