Militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), have claimed that around 20 Nigerian soldiers were murdered during the first four days of the ongoing military operation exercise code-named “Operation Crocodile Smiles” in the Niger Delta.
Spokesperson for the group, Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement on its website claimed that the soldiers’ death which has been concealed by top brass of the military was due to negligence, administrative greed and corruption within the military.
“Mr. President from available facts, the untimely deaths of these four (4) fine soldiers in the creeks of Bayelsa and another sixteen (16) that was recorded during the first four days of the exercise along the River Ethiope, in Delta state but was earlier covered up is nothing more than act of murder. Their death is due to negligence, administrative greed and a corruption within the military,” it said.
The statement by the Niger Delta Avengers, which has accepted responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the last few months, comes just over a week after the militant group said it was ready for a ceasefire, talks with the government and that it had halted hostilities.
It wondered the objectives behind the deployment of military hardwares to the Niger Delta suddenly when there was cessation of hostilities for peace talks to commence.
“Finally, Mr. President, we want you to commission a high powered panel to investigate all processes that led to the ongoing military operation and exercise in the Niger Delta tagged “Operation Crocodile Smile” and all the ongoing cover-ups of military mishaps that have led to more than twenty (20) deaths so far. “ it said.
“The mission ongoing in the Niger Delta is a brainchild of orchestrated military corruption at your face Mr. President. Operation Crocodile Smiles is nothing but a conduit pipe for military contracts, political profiteerism and patronages designed for the stress of your administration’s scarce resources,” the group claimed.