The Niger Delta special security forces, the Joint Task Force codenamed Operation Restore Hope have raided a militant camp allegedly operated by one Keiti Sese also known as Commander Nomukeme (mad man) in Forupa community on the Atlantic fringe of the Bayelsa State.
But the militant leader, the target of the special forces’ invasion of the coastal settlement of Forupa narrowly escaped arrest. He was said to have fled through the mangrove creek following a tip-off by his supposed loyalists. However, soldiers have reportedly taken over his camp as base.
BOF gathered that the military action ordered by the Federal Government against acts of terrorism and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta which was made public, weekend, may have commenced in the first week of November as men of JTF swooped on the militant camp at Forupa on November 8 leading to the dislodgement of the group allegedly terrorising the community.
It was, however, learnt that the JTF met stiff resistance from the camp as they were engaged in exchange of gunfire that lasted about 10 minutes before the militants capitulated to the superior fire power to soldiers.
Two members of the camp were reportedly nabbed by the JTF which also discovered unspecified number of arms, a 3d seismic programme map used in tracking routes of oil pipelines in the area as well as list of over 36 registered members of the group.
According to a statement by the Commander of JTF, Major-General Charles Omoregie, other items recovered at the camp include, identification cards of five militants supposed to have also allegedly embraced the amnesty programme.
The camp, reportedly opened last year by ”Commander Noukeme” was located at the Corpers’ Lodge and medical facility in the area allegedly seized by the group.
The JTF Commander, in the statement stressed that the military action became imperative following the incessant complaints by indigenes of the troubled Foropa community on the atrocities of the group.
“Keiti Sese alias Commander Nomukeme “mad man” had indeed, become a thorn in the flesh of Foropa and neighbouring communities,” he added.
But, Keiti Sese, alias ”Commander Nomukeme” in a statement issued from his hide-out and made available to newsmen, weekend, accused JTF of trying to kill him on the alleged orders of some ex-militant leaders benefiting from the alleged huge illegal bunkering business in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.