Friday, June 3, 2016 9:44 pm
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday announced that it had deployed additional aircraft to the Niger Delta where renewed militancy and destruction of oil installations by a shadowy group, Niger Delta Avengers has cut Nigeria’s oil production by over 50 per cent.
The group has vowed to reduce Nigeria’s oil production to zero in the days ahead and the additional deployment of armaments to the region may indicate that the government has not taken the threat lightly.
The Air Force, in the statement signed by Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, its spokesperson was emphatic that the deployment “was necessitated by the recent spate of attacks on the Nation’s oil and gas installations by the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
He listed the additional platforms being deployed to beef up the fight against the militants to comprise fighter aircraft, helicopter gunship and surveillance aircraft.
The platforms, he said are intended to enhance the capability of the NAF to undertake offensive air operations and intelligence gathering in support of the surfaces forces.
Already, the military has an ongoing military operations code named “OPERATION PULO SHIELD” against militancy, economic sabotage and all forms of criminalities in the South-South region of the Country. NAF said the new deployment is to support the operation even as it has also increased air operations around critical infrastructure in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
These include but not limited to Escravos, Forcados in Delta State; Bonga oil field, Agbami offshore and Brass in Bayelsa; Bony in Rivers; Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa Ibom State, and Opuekeba in Ondo State.
The Air Force also urged members of the public not to panic at the sight of low level flying aircraft but to go about their legitimate businesses. It also appealed to members of the public to avail it or other security agencies with useful information about the whereabouts or activities of the militant group.