Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Niger Delta Avengers Attacks: FG deploys warships, gunboats and fighter jets to Niger Delta creeks

The federal government, yesterday, deployed an armada of five warships, 100 gunboats and fighter jets to the creeks of the Niger Delta, in response to continued bombing of oil and gas pipelines by Niger Delta Avengers, NDA.

This heightened tension in the coastal communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, even as helicopter gunships were seen hovering at low altitude in the predominantly riverine council.

It was gathered that while the Airforce deployed the fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Army swooped on four more Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State, for the militants.

Bayelsa travellers from the hinterland, confirmed the large military presence in the tricky mangrove swamp of the council, which at the height of youth militancy, had the largest concentration of militant camps in the Delta.
“There is a massive security operation going on in the area. Fighter jets and helicopter gunships have been hovering around the airspace at low level, apparently on surveillance mission. Many of the natives are worried about the development,” said Ayebatari, an indigene of the area.
Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed, confirmed, yesterday, that the security agencies were now working in synergy to rout the Avengers.
He said: “We (Navy) use helicopter. If you spot it, you will clearly identify it as belonging to us. You see Navy written on it. The jet fighters and surveillance craft were deployed by Air Force to watch over the high risk areas against activities of the oil assets vandals and anyone else involved in criminality in the area.

“There is now strengthened synergy among the security agencies to stop this vandalism. The synergy is there. I will advise those involved to steer clear and employ peaceful ways of agitating and engaging their minds.”
The fighter jets and surveillance aircraft were also seen flying around communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom and Ogulagha area in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State about 10a.m.

Ijaw leader, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, and Public Relations Officer of Oporoza Youth Executive, Paul Kirifade, confirmed the movement of the jet fighters and aircraft in the communities.

It was learned that the fighter jets and surveillance aircraft were deployed to enable the armed forces locate the militants, believed to be running helter-skelter and hiding in the mangrove swamps after the occupation of Oporoza and fly down on Kurutie and other communities, yesterday.

Credit: Vanguard

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