The new Commander of 2 Brigade, Sector 2, Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Koko Essien, has given assurances that the army would continue to deploy its forces strategically to ensure sustained peace and security in the Niger Delta region. The commander was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia, at the commission's headquarters in Port Harcourt on Friday.
He said the NDDC was an important development agency that should be given adequate protection to carry out its mandate. "We recognize the development activities of the NDDC and we also know that some people may be trying to hamper the efforts of the commission. However, I assure you that we will give you all the necessary security cover you need to continue to serve the people of the Niger Delta without hindrance," he said.
The army chief commended the existing cooperation and collaboration between the task force and the interventionist agency, noting that it was important for institutions of government to work in harmony in building an efficient security network. He noted that the NDDC was the second place he was visiting after assuming duties in Rivers State.
Responding, the NDDC Managing Director said that the role of the Nigerian Army in providing stability and protecting the sovereignty of the country could not be over-emphasized, especially now that it was going through trying times. He said he was confident that the new commander would contribute his quota in providing the peaceful environment necessary for the development of Nigeria's oil-rich region.
"The Niger Delta can only be developed in an atmosphere of peace and security. So, we need the security agencies to help us as it would be difficult to deliver satisfactorily on the mandate to rapidly transform the Niger Delta in the absence of peace and security. We will do our best to also support you in our own small way to carry out your duties," Barr. Dan-Abia said.
The NDDC boss commended members of the armed forces for making sacrifices for the peace and security of the country. He expressed satisfaction with the good relationship existing between the army and the commission, adding that the commission would continue to hold meetings with security agencies from time to time in the overall interest of the people of the region.