Rear Admiral Akingide Akinrinade has assumed office as the Commander of the Niger Delta Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation delta safe, at its headquarters in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Akinrinade took over from Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, who commanded the outfit for 29 months.
After a brief takeover ceremony, the new commander said he was posted to add more value to what was on ground in safeguarding oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
Akinrinade called for more co-operation among the officers and pledged a level playing ground to ensure that criminality in the region was drastically reduced.
On his part, Apochi, who has been posted to Defence Headquarters, Abuja, as Chief of Defence Administration, tasked JTF personnel to support the new commander to ensure security of the region.
He welcomed the new JTF boss and urged him to work harder to sustain and improve on the achievements so far made in the region.
While declaring that he delivered the mandate handed over to him above 70%, Apochi said: “We were given a mandate which was essentially to protect the oil and gas infrastructures, curb crude oil theft, fight militancy and any other forms of criminality within our joint area of operation.
“We worked within the confines of our mandate to ensure that those people who were perpetrating the illegal bunkering did not have the freedom of space to commit the crime.
“When we came here, there were issues of militancy all over my joint operation area but diligently we have taken out the major camps. The Karaowei in Ekeremor, Bakassi strike force in Cross River, the Lobia 1, 2, 3, the Oluasuri, the Etinekpo in Akwa Ibom, the Azuzuama set of militants, jointly by the operation of this force those, camps seized to exist.”