Members of the Concerned Militant Leaders (CML) of Niger Delta region have declared that 24 soldiers captured during their encounter with military men on Friday morning would not be released. Also, the CML debunked the claim by the military that seven suspected militants were shot dead during the exchange of gunfire, which occurred along Bakassi Peninsula waterways. Spokesperson of the dreaded militant group, simply identified as General Ben, stated yesterday, that he did not lose any of his combatants, adding that members of the public should discountenance the report.
General Ben disclosed that the captured 24 soldiers were onboard a military gunboat Pilot 1, MB12 also known as Thunder Boat. He threatened to “execute them at the appropriate time.” But in a quick reaction, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col Sani Usman, who was contacted on the phone debunked the claim by the militants that they had captured some soldiers. “There is nothing like that,” Usman told Sunday Sun reporter in a text message. The militant leader, General Ben, who claimed to be in control of Bakassi/Calabar territory, admitted that some of his men were severely wounded in the encounter, but not bullet injuries. He said his “rugged boys” were affected by a chemical substance, which was aerially spread by a military aircraft. General Ben declared: “My boys were wounded today, but I didn’t lose any of my men.
They (soldiers) will now claim they have killed us. It’s not true. What the plane spread around here I suspect, was acid. It cannot kill us because we know what to do. “We will decide what to do with the 24 soldiers captured. Their Pilot 1, MB12 Thunder Boat is in our custody. This is our territory and they cannot escape from our domain because they have crossed our border. “We have been quiet for a while, studying events in this country. We have discovered that the government does not care how people fare. Instead, the situation is getting worse and out of control on a daily basis,” he said.