By NBF News

The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta has dismissed the allegation that its personnel are engaging in illegal oil bunkering in the region. A member of Dutch parliament, Sharon Gesthuizen in Holland had sensationally revealed in an interview with our sister publication, Sunday Sun that men of the JTF were involved in the stealing of oil resources of the Niger Delta.

But in a swift reaction to Gesthuizen's claims, the JTF strongly denied that its personnel were involved in any illegal activity that its mandate in the region does not accommodate.

According to the media coordinator of JTF, Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, since about a year ago the security situation in the region had improved because the security outfit had clamped down on sea-piracy, illegal oil bunkering, kidnapping of oil workers and vandalism of oil facilities.

He explained that the peace achieved in the region was with pains, as some of its personnel died, while others sustained injuries, adding that JTF would not have achieved much if it had compromised as alleged by Gesthuizen.

Antigha, while wondering why some people would want to go to any extent to destroy the reputation of JTF, warned the general public to be wary of foreigners who pretend to be friends but were in actual fact out to exploit the security situation in Nigeria.

The statement reads in part: 'In the last one year of JTF's operation in the Niger Delta, security has improved considerably, the spate of sea robbery, kidnapping of oil workers and vandalism of the nation's oil infrastructure has been reduced considerably. Within this period also, the nation's economy has rebound significantly on account of the huge improvement in the nation's crude oil output, which is also predicated on security provided by the JTF.

Most regrettably, some JTF personnel have even paid the supreme price for security and stability in the Niger Delta region. It is important to note that the successes enumerated above could not have been achieved and sustained with the loss of gallant officers and men if the JTF had compromised as alleged. Against this background, it is difficult to understand why certain people or groups go to great extent to contrive stories in a bid to achieve their ambition of undermining the reputation and achievements of the JTF.'

It continued: 'In the light of this development, which unfortunately stands truth in the head, the JTF finds it intriguing and ironic that a Dutch member of Parliament who is a beneficiary of the confusion in the Niger Delta is the one casting aspersion on the JTF.'

 'Consequently, the JTF urges the media and members of the public to discountenance unsubstantiated and malicious remarks from people who come around as friends but actually mean to exploit our situation, create instability and profit from it.'