According to reports, the military has appointed Real Admiral Apochi Suleiman as the new commander for Operation Delta Safe, set up to fight militancy in the Niger Delta region.
This is contained in a statement signed by Col. Kingsley Umoh, on behalf of the Acting Director, Defence Information, which explained that the change became necessary in order to inject new capability to contain the prevailing security threats and provide much needed stability in the region.
Before his latest appointment which takes immediate effect, Suleiman was Director of Development at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, and had served as the flag officer commanding, Central Naval Command.
Okojie was the first naval personnel to command the military operation in the Niger Delta. 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 responsibility 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.
Although many suspected militants have been arrested or killed, deadly attacks on oil facilities by militants have continued, leading to the loss of huge revenue to the country which is already feeling the impact of an economic recession.