Image

Air Force Begins Bombardment Of Zamfara Bandits |The Republican News

Nigerian-Air-Force1

 

The Nigerian Air Force commenced aerial bombardments on Monday, in a joint military offensive to end the banditry in Zamfara communities.

The Commander of the 207 Quick Response Group of the Air Force, Group Capt. Caleb Olayera, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Gusau.

He spoke after taking delivery of two aeroplanes deployed for the operation.

Olayera described the operation as part of a joint military operation involving the Air Force, Army, Police and civil defence to flush out the bandits.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Zamfara in Nigeria’s northwest has seen intense banditry in recent times that has left hundreds dead and displaced thousands in various communities.

The Federal Government has since been battling the jihadist Boko Haram group in Nigeria’s northeast in a low-intensity war that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions since 2009.

Olayera said that two helipads had already been constructed by the Air Force for the Zamfara security operation.

“We told you that the helipads will be used as the base for our fighter jets to neutralise any group of criminals and their hideouts.

He assured that peace would soon return to troubled communities in Zamfara with the commencement of the military operation.

The governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, in an apparent frustration over the banditry in the state, recently renounced his position as chief security officer of the state.

He cited his inability to take charge of security agencies in the state to end the banditry.

(NAN)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Advertisements
Image

Avengers: Military Deploys Helicopters In Niger Delta, Destroys Oil Storage

Nigerian-Air-Force
                                 Nigerian Air Force helicopter

Olaleye Aluko and Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri

Residents of Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, and home town of wanted former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, in the Warri South West Local Government  Area of Delta State, were on Tuesday thrown into panic when they saw two military helicopters hovering round the community.

It was gathered that the helicopters  were first sighted by the residents at 10am and flown for about 30 minutes before leaving the community.

The PUNCH gathered that the aircraft returned for the second time at noon causing residents, some of who feared that soldiers were coming to invade the community, to panic and flee into the swampy neighbouring bush for cover.

Local sources who confirmed the development to one of our correspondents, appealed to the Federal Government to caution the military in order to avoid another invasion of the community over the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers.

Investigation showed that the Nigerian military had deployed more soldiers in the creeks of Gbaramatu and the Escravos River, including Burutu, to check the activities of militants and to prevent their planned attack on oil and gas facilities.

A military source, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents, saying that they were only carrying out aerial surveillance of the area, in response to the threat by the NDA.

Also confirming the development, the spokesman for the Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, called on the Federal Government not to turn Gbaramatu Kingdom into a theatre of war, adding that no militant is taking cover in their communities.

Gbenekama, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Warri, said, “Military helicoptershave been hovering round our communities in Gbaramatu kingdom since morning (Tuesday).

He said, “Gbaramatu people are not at war with the Federal Government. Why is it that anytime there is crisis in Bayelsa or Rivers states, the first port of call is Gbaramatu? We are just one of the many communities in the Niger Delta. We don’t deserve this siege. We have been championing peace since 2009, but every time military men are drafted to Gbaramatu.

“While we appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to sheathe their swords, we don’t know the rationale behind the deployment of troops and gun boats to Gbaramatu creeks. We don’t want what happened in 2009 and 2016 to happen again. So, let the military restrain their men from our villages. We don’t harbour militants. Avengers are not resident in Gbaramatu Kingdom.”

Efforts to speak with the Sector 1 Commander, Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, Col. Alhassan Grema, by one of our correspondents were unsuccessful.

Also, repeated calls to the spokesperson for the JTF, Maj. Ibrahim Abdulahi, for clarification were not connecting.

However, reacting to the alleged military movement into Gbaramatu, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the helicopters were 0n routine patrol along the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

Dewu said, “What they are speculating as military deployment is routine patrol along the Escravos and the Trans Forcados Pipeline. Once we sense any security concern on that line, our men usually move in to patrol the area. Nobody is deploying any gunboat or jets to specific communities. It is a normal patrol.”

Meanwhile, a Nigerian Air Force armed helicopter, EC-135, has bombed suspected illegal oil barges and storage facilities at Adokiakiri community in the Niger Delta, as the ceasefire announced by the NDA entered the fifth day.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said on Tuesday that the stolen oil storage facilities were sighted in the community during an “armed reconnaissance” on Sunday and subsequently destroyed.

The NAF noted that the military remained resolute in making oil theft in the region unprofitable.

The NDA had on Friday announced an immediate end to its ceasefire with the Federal Government. The group also accused the government of being insincere despite the commitment by the leaders of the region to broker peace.

The NDA said through its spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, that the FG was only interested in the oil in the region.

The NAF spokesman said, “The air force has destroyed some oil barges, containing stolen oil products at Adokiakiri community in the Niger Delta.  The illegal oil barges and storage facilities were spotted by the NAF EC-135 helicopter during an armed reconnaissance mission. They were all subsequently destroyed. The NAF remains resolute in making oil theft and illegal bunkering unprofitable.”

Meanwhile, the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has appealed to the NDA to drop its recent threat to resume attacks on oil installations in the region.

Uduaghan, who spoke on Tuesday, said, “I am appealing for caution in the handling of the renewed threat by the Niger Delta Avengers. I am appealing to the Niger Delta Avengers to drop the threat, and also the Federal Government to continue on the path of engagement.

“The issues raised from the various peace movements by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of the Federal Government that brought some calm should be seriously addressed. We must all support the Acting Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who has been managing the renewed threat.”     (Punch)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Boko Haram Is Back To Sambisa Forest, Bombed 108 Times, Says Air Force

Image result for Ground zero in Sambisa forest

File: Gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE dismantling the official Boko Haram flag at Parisu, Camp Zairo, Sambisa Forest, Borno State after capturing Boko Haram’s headquarters on Monday. Photo: DHQ

Olalekan Adetayo and Olaleye Aluko

The Nigerian Air Force said on Thursday that the Boko Haram terrorists were back to the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State, but said its fighter jets and attack helicopters had bombed the terrorists’ hideouts 108 times between April and July 2017.

The Air Component Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, the military operation in the North-East, Air Commodore Tajudeen Yusuf, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Yola, Adamawa State.

Yusuf said some of the challenges with the air operations were thunderstorms and rainfalls, which impacted negatively on some air operations during the period.

He noted that there were days that flights had to be delayed or cancelled on account of poor weather.

He stated, “Intelligence surveillance and Reconnaissance reports through the second quarter of 2017 indicated a gradual return of the Boko Haram terrorist activities to the Sambisa Forest. There have been sightings of a few Boko Haram activities in the Sambisa general area, particularly in Parisu.

“Hence, the air component conducted significant ISR missions in the Sambisa general area. On July 3, an air interdiction mission was conducted on Alagarno Camp. Several solar panels were seen on buildings in the location, which indicated that it was being used as a Command and Control facility.

“The NAF conducted air interdiction missions with the F-7Ni, Alpha jets, L-39ZA, Mi-17 and the Mi-35M attack helicopters to neutralise the Boko Haram terrorist targets within the theatre.

“A total of 108 air interdiction sorties were conducted from April to June 2017.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Thursday, regretted that the nation’s troops, fighting the Boko Haram sect, could not dominate the environment in the rainy season like they did during the dry season.

Notwithstanding the challenge, Dan-Ali said efforts were ongoing to stop the ambushes regularly laid by the terror group.

The minister spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting which acting President Yemi Osinbajo had with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dan-Ali said the service chiefs were directed to move back to the Command Centre in order to be abreast of what was happening there.

The minister stated that it was resolved at the meeting that the government should procure more surveillance devices that would be able to see potential attackers from a distance.

Dan-Ali added, “We just finished a meeting with the acting President and the three service chiefs. We agreed that they should move back to the Command Centre and see what are the things happening there.

“We have also agreed that we should get more surveillance devices, cameras that will be able to see distant attackers coming to the position of our troops.

“Also, the rainy season is a difficult moment for us. We cannot dominate the environment like what we did during the dry season but effort is geared towards regaining our areas.

“We assure Nigerians that all these ambushes that are happening regularly would be stopped.” (Punchng.com)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Nigerian Air Force Woman Allegedly Drugged, Raped By Superior Heads To Court

Igbobie Beauty Uzezi

Kunle Falayi

A Nigerian Air Force personnel, Igbobie Uzezi, who accused one of her superiors, Flight Lieutenant B.S Vibelko, of drugging and raping her in 2011, has sued him along with the Air Force, Chief of Air Staff, and Attorney-General of the Federation, for her unlawful dismissal.

The suit, number FHC/L/CS/10/17, was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos Division on January 5, 2017, by the Malachy Ugwummadu Chambers on behalf of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, which is handling the case.

The court processes obtained by our correspondent, state that the “violent rape and sexual assault” of Uzezi was a “flagrant violation of her fundamental rights to life, dignity of human person and personal liberty.”

Uzezi accused Vibelko of assaulting her on May 17, 2011 with claims that she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in the process.

She said in her suit, “I was arrested and detained at the guardroom within the Air Force Base, Victoria Island, Lagos in an inclement and dehumanising condition with hard labour for a period of 14 days from May9 to 23, 2013 on the orders and prompting of the chief of air staff, air officer commandant, and the flight lieutenant, without charging me to a court of law or even making my offences known to me.”

According to the suit, the claimant was again detained within the Air Force Base, Ikeja, Lagos for another 10 days from October 1 to 10, 2015 allegedly on the orders of the names mentioned earlier.

Her lawyers claim that Uzezi was dismissed from service without allowing her a fair hearing on allegations that Vibelko, her former instructor took undue advantage of her “violently drugging and raping her against all known codes of discipline and laws of both the Nigerian Armed Forces Act and Criminal laws of Nigeria.”

Uzezi is asking the court to award her the sum of N500m jointly and severally against the chief of air staff, air officer commandant and also the flight lieutenant as general and exemplary damages for the breach of her fundamental rights.

Uzezi joined the Air Force in 2010 at the age of 19. She said she was still a virgin at the time she was allegedly raped.         (Punchng.com)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading