The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has called on the Nigerian Military to release some Niger Delta youths it had detained without tiral as part of efforts to consolidate on the peace process in the region.
President of the group, Eric Omare, made the call on Thursday during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the Joint Military Task Force, JMTF, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He commended the Joint Task Force for its operations in the area which has led to improved security.
The IYC leader, however, said suspects who have had no case of illegality established against them must be released as that will prove to the public that the military was not out to molest and humiliate law abiding citizens.
“Only last week, I helped to secure the bail of some of our members in Delta state and I’m convinced that their release was made easy with the intervention of the Commander of Operation Delta safe. For that he deserves our appreciation,” Omare said.
The IYC president also pledged to strengthen the already cordial working relationship between the Operation Delta Safe and the youths but requested the JTF to reciprocate the gesture in order to reassure the region of federal government’s sincerity towards the ongoing dialogue with stakeholders in the region.
In his response, the commander of Operation Delta Safe, Apochi Suleiman, said that the JTF was impressed with the activities of the IYC, including its recent election which he recalled was devoid of violence.
Suleiman further urged the leadership of the youth group to always sensitize its members about the activities of Operation Delta Safe which is to ensure peace and security in the region, adding that the military was not deployed to intimidate the people but to protect them as well as the Nation’s oil infrastructure.
“I want to urge us to separate militancy from criminality, we are not in partnership with any oil company, rather, we are here to discourage illegal shutting down of, and attack on facilities and other related criminal activities,” Suleiman said.
The military commander also assured the Omare-led IYC of a good working relationship in accordance with the law.