The Operation Delta Safe has dismissed rumour making the round that military gunboats and fighter aircraft were laying siege to Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State in preparation for an attack.
Coordinator Joint Media Campaign Centre, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, in a statement made available to newsmen electronically on Wednesday, described the rumour as fake news, baseless and unfounded.
The statement reads in part: “We noticed with dismay that desperate and disgruntled elements within the society have vowed to foment trouble by spreading unfounded rumours aimed at misinforming the public and creating panic.
“The string of these rumours began with reports that CONOIL facilities/pipeline at Koluama 1 settlement of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have been attacked and blown up on Saturday 5th January 2019.
“The report turned out to be fake. Furthermore between Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th January 2019 another fake news started rearing its ugly head again.
“This time the mischief makers alleged that military gunboats and fighter aircrafts were laying siege to Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area in preparation for an attack.
“This was equally confirmed to be fake. Again, it was alleged that the Tanker Drivers’ Union, Bayelsa State Chapter planned to block the East West road for unknown reasons on 22nd January 2019 which was also confirmed to be fake news.
“All these are designed to create panic and an atmosphere of insecurity to lives and properties within the Niger Delta region. We in OPERATION DELTA SAFE do not have issues with the environment where we operate. We have maintained peace, law and order as far as our mandate is concerned.
“All the critical Oil and gas infrastructures are secured and production is ongoing. Slanderous utterances and libelous publications would NOT profit the society. Peace and progress thrives only in conducive atmospheres and climes devoid of falsehood.
“We strongly call on these mischief makers, rumour mills and desperadoes to desist from their nefarious activities. We equally enjoin the media to verify the authenticity of news stories before going to the Press.
“Rushing to break news which would later turn out to be false has a strong tendency to negatively affect your credibility over time. Efforts are also ongoing to unmask these disgruntled elements with a view to prosecuting them at the appropriate quarters,” the statement said.