NAF jets decimate oil thieves, militants, terrorists – spokesman

In continuation of efforts aimed at containing the activities of terrorists, militants and other criminal elements bent on destabilizing the Nation and making life unbearable to peace-loving people Nigerian Air Force jets last week decimated scores of oil thieves, militants and terrorists in Rivers, Cross River and Borno States respectively.

The air component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) carried out air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites located at Cawthorne Channels, Bille and Gogokori in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State on 27 August 2023.

NAF spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet disclosed this in a statement, said that fighter jet strike several area after it was established that it consist of illegal refining sites. The areas were attacked and destroyed. Specifically, “at Gogokori, a Cotonou boat observed to be loaded with illegal refined products and heading into open waters was also engaged and destroyed”.

Similar strikes were also extended to Idama in Akuku ‐toru Local Government Area and Omoma in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State upon receipt of intelligence of refining activities at the 2 locations. Overhead both locations, active illegal refining sites with reservoirs suspected to contain illegally refined products were sighted. The reservoirs were subsequently engaged, destroyed and engulfed in flames.

On 25 August 2023, identified militants/pirates’ camps in Cross River State were also attacked by the air component of OPDS. In the various militants/pirates’ Camps identified as Big Joe’s Camp, Sunny’s Camp, Davids’ Camp in Bakassi Local Government Area and Amos Camps in Calabar South Local Government Area, air strikes were authourized after confirming these locations to be littered with these criminals and their activities.

Those that attempted to escape through their various escape routes were also attacked. In one of the suspected kidnappers’ camps, a lone structure suspected to be harbouring some kidnapped victims with armed men roaming around the structure was also attacked using guns on board the aircraft. The strikes led to pandemonium with several kidnapped victims seen escaping.

In the Northeast, strikes were conducted on 25 August 2023, at Chinene, a persistent terrorists’ hideout in Mandara mountains which has been struck on several occasions in the past. Having observed the area to continually host gathering of terrorists and their activities, the location was struck with several terrorists neutralized while others fled for their lives.

NAF aircraft have continued to give the requisite outcome while denying non-state actors the freedom to perpetrate their nefarious acts at will. While the NAF alongside other security agencies remain focused in undertaking their assigned tasks, the need for all Nigerians to see themselves as part of the solution to these challenges through the provision of actionable information to security agencies cannot be overemphasized.