The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says the air component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) and Operation Hadin Kai carried out successful air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites and terrorists hideouts in Niger Delta and North East regions.
A statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the air interdictions were in continuation of efforts aimed at containing the activities of terrorists, militants and other criminal elements bent on destabilising the nation and making life unbearable to peace-loving Nigerians.
Gabkwet said the air component of OPDS had on Aug. 27, carried out air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites located at Cawthorne Channels, Bille and Gogokori in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers,adding that illegal refining sites were attacked and destroyed in the area.
He said that a Cotonou boat observed to be loaded with illegal refined products and heading into open waters was also engaged and destroyed at Gogokori.
According to him, similar strikes were also extended to Idama in Akuku‐Toru Local Government Area and Omoma in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers upon receipt of intelligence of refining activities at the two locations.
Gabkwet said that overhead both locations, active illegal refining sites with reservoirs suspected to contain illegally refined products were sighted, adding that the reservoirs were subsequently engaged, destroyed and engulfed in flames.
He said that identified 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 in Cross River were on Aug. 25, attacked by the air component of OPDS.
Gabkwet added that the air strikes were authorised after confirming the 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, the NAF spokesman said that strikes were conducted on Aug. 25 at Chinene, a persistent terrorists’ hideout in Mandara mountains which had been struck on several occasions in the past.
He said the location was struck with several terrorists neutralised having observed that the area had continually hosted gathering of terrorists and their activities, adding that others fled for their lives.
According to him, 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 overemphasised”, he urged.