Nigeria appoints new commander to tackle Niger Delta militancy

jtf niger delta

The Nigerian military has appointed Apochi Suleiman as the new commander for Operation Delta Safe.

Operation Delta Safe is a codename for the military operation in the country’s volatile oil-rich Niger Delta region.

Before his latest appointment which takes immediate effect, Mr. Suleiman, a rear admiral, was Director of Development at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. He had also served as the flag officer commanding, Central Naval Command.

Mr. Suleiman takes over from Joseph Okojie, also a rear admiral, who has been reassigned to another post, the military said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The change became necessary in order to inject new capability to contain the prevailing security threats and provide much needed stability in the region, said the statement signed by Kingsley Umoh, a colonel, on behalf of the Acting Director, Defence Information.

Mr. Okojie was the first naval personnel to command the military operation in the Niger Delta. The appointment of Mr. Suleiman, another naval personnel, to head the operation underscores the importance of the navy in the battle to keep the region safe.

Operation Delta Safe was set up in June to replace previous military operations – Operation Pulo Shield (OPS), and the Joint Task Force (JTF) – in the Niger Delta. It was saddled with the task of checkmating renewed insurgency in the region, especially the destructions of oil pipelines and related facilities by the Niger Delta Avengers.

The operation, with headquarters in Igbogene, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have led to the destruction of several illegal oil refineries and barges laden with stolen petroleum products. Many suspected militants have been arrested or killed.

But deadly attacks on oil facilities by militants have continued, leading to the loss of huge revenue to the country which is already facing an unprecedented economic recession.

Three soldiers attached to the Operation Delta Safe were shot dead in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa state, by some armed bandits in August.

The Nigerian authorities have been exploring dialogue and other non-military options, for the crisis in the Niger Delta.  President Muhammadu Buhari recently held talks with select leaders from the region.


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  • Iskacountryman

    remove their brother and send in the hitman….edwin clark, take over…o!

  • thusspokez


    Operation Delta Safe was set up in June to replace previous military operations – Operation Pulo Shield (OPS), and the Joint Task Force (JTF) – in the Niger Delta.

    A mere rearranging of the furniture.

    “I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising; and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”

    Charlton Ogburn Jr. in 1957.

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  • oba1010

    Nice appointment the Rea admiral is capable

  • Arogbo

    Rear Admiral Okojie was compromised, so the Defence Headquarters have no other options available, but to let him go. Now that we have Rear Admiral Suleiman there, we are going to notice a visible improvement in security arrangement in the Niger Delta. Mark my words, Suleiman is not a joke. Some of these stubborn militants and their acolytes will soon meet their Waterloo. Oyaa fire!

    • Bugar

      All this are stories.. Rear Admiral Suleiman or what he call himself will do nothing to the Niger Delta people and the Militant..It just a political appointment for him for him .. Take note of this they are the same APC corrupt government, I don’t know why people like you are easily confuse with this same leaders of Army go Army come..Ref; FELA