Nigerian military warns of action

2010-11-13 20:01

Abuja - Nigeria's military warned on Saturday it would take action against armed gangs in the creeks of the oil-producing Niger Delta after a spate of recent kidnappings and other criminal acts.

Seven expatriate workers were kidnapped from an oilrig off the Niger Delta almost a week ago, while the home of President Goodluck Jonathan's main adviser on the region was attacked with explosives late on Thursday.

"We have observed with concern some criminal acts within the past few days by some people claiming to be militants ... Many of these criminals are known to be hiding in camps within the creeks of the Niger Delta," Chief of Defence Staff Oluseyi Petinrin said in a statement.

"These camps will no longer be tolerated. To avoid any collateral damage, we are seizing this opportunity to instruct all law-abiding citizens who live around the vicinity of these camps to leave immediately," the statement said.

Any major offensive by the armed forces would be the first in the Niger Delta since an amnesty programme brokered by Jonathan began in August 2009.