Monday, August 27, 2012

Joint Task Farce rescues 27 kidnapped oil workers in Bakassi

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in Calabar, Cross River State, at the weekend rescued 27 oil workers who were kidnapped in Bakassi.

A militant gang, Lactop Marine Force, in Bakassi, kidnapped 27 workers of a private oil company, Sinopec, at Ikang near the Bakassi Local Government headquarters.

It was gathered that following the incident, the JTF launched a raid on the hideout of the militants.

Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Olufemi Ogunjimi, confirmed the JTF raid and described the militant group as criminals, who had nothing to do with the group agitating for the reclaiming of Bakassi, which was ceded to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice. He said Lactop, the leader of the gang, is a criminal who runs a criminal gang which kidnaps for ransom, engages in piracy, sea robbery and killing of innocent people including uniform personnel.

Commander of JTF, Major General Johnson Ochoga, said they have been working hard to flush out the gang in the past three days, and that the militant group was given an opportunity to come out and denounce their criminal activities, but they did not embrace the opportunity before the JTF closed in on them.

Also speaking, the Commander of 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Calabar, Brigadier General Shehu Yusuf, said no life was lost in the operation, and that the military has given Lactop an opportunity to come out. He maintained that if he surrenders himself willingly, nothing would happen to him.

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