The Joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, says it will remain professional and civil in dealing with security threats by militant groups in the area.
Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, the Commander of the joint operation, said this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Tuesday.
Okojie added that the deployment of troops and equipment noticed on Monday at Kaima in Bayelsa State was part of normal operations to keep the region safe.
Troops and military hardware were deployed to Kaima following threats by a militant group to take control of the area.
Okojie, who briefed newsmen after a meeting with unit commanders within Operation Delta Safe in Yenagoa, said the military had the freedom to be in any part of the country.
He said: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria belongs to all of us and the armed forces have the freedom to be at any part of Nigeria at any time.
“We are merely doing our normal duty within our mandate.
“We were in Kaima to show that Operation Delta Safe was on ground to ensure that the report by some faceless organisations about creating a ‘territory’ to themselves is not allowed to happen.
“The heavy presence being noticed in parts of the Niger Delta is part of our routine duties to guarantee the safety of law abiding that people of Niger Delta and ensure atmosphere conducive for economic activities.
“I am sure that we did not molest or intimidate anyone.
“We shall be professional and civil in the discharge of our duties.
“Our presence is part of our normal duty to reassure the people that there is no cause for alarm.”
Okojie explained that the meeting with Component Commanders of Operation Delta Safe was to review the achievements of the operation to ensure that they were mission-oriented.