The Commander, 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Camp Buratai, Elebele Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Brig. Gen. Olurotimi Awolo has described the Niger Delta region as the lifeline of the Nigerian economy.
The 16 Brigade Commander stated this when members of the United Correspondents Chapel (UCC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State council paid him a courtesy call in his office in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Flanked by other senior officers of the Bridge, the Commander described the visit by members of the pen profession as apt, noting that it came at a time when media partnership with security agencies has become more imperative given the security situation in the country.
He averred that the media plays a key role in the fight against oil theft, terrorism, kidnapping, sea piracy and other antisocial vices through sharing of useful information and reportage of criminal activities in their areas of operation.
The Army General further hinted that the 16 Brigade had been deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches in pursuing its core mandate of protecting oil and gas facilities from vandalism.
“The Niger Delta is the lifeline of the Nigerian economy where government finances its programmes,” he said.
Awolo pointed out that the Brigade had been carrying out different social responsibility programmes such as free medical outreaches, novelty football matches with communities and institutions among others as a way of drawing closer to the civilian populace.
He emphasized that the Niger Delta where oil and gas activities are done is dear to the hearts of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said had been working hard to keep the economy afloat despite insecurities, and the Chief of Army Staff whom he described as equal to the present security challenges in the country.
While thanking the media practitioners for identify with the military, the 16 Brigade Commander used the opportunity to warn those in the act of economic sabotage to desist forthwith or face the grave consequences.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the United Correspondents Chapel, Mr. James Akam said he and his team were at the Camp Tukur Buratai to cement a military-media working relationship.
While commending the Brigade on its efforts in the fight against illegal oil refining and other criminal activities in the oil rich region, the UCC chairman promised collaboration with the security formation, calling for regular involvement of the media group in the coverage of the Brigade’s activities.