The Air Component Operation Delta Safe, under the command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has executed precision airstrikes, obliterating an alleged illicit oil refinery brimming with stolen crude products in Rivers State.
The airstrike, driven by precise intelligence, targeted and destroyed an unauthorized oil refinery located in Dariama village. The village lies approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Abonnema and 50 kilometers southwest of Port Harcourt, Rivers. Military sources reported that the site was active and housed tanks and reservoirs filled with suspected illegally refined products.
The director of Public Relations and Information Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet confirmed that this successful operation further strengthens the military’s resolve to combat the menace of oil theft and illegal bunkering, which are major contributing factors to environmental degradation in the region.
In a related development, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Hasan Abubakar, disclosed plans to augment the service’s capacity with the acquisition of 51 new aircraft. These new additions will enhance the country’s counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations.
During his inaugural operational tour of NAF units in Makurdi, Benue State, Abubakar announced the incoming platforms include two Agusta 109 Trekker Multi-role helicopters, two Beechcraft King Air 360, three Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, and 6 T-129 ATAK helicopters. Other pending acquisitions encompass two CASA -295 medium airlift/surveillance aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.
The environmental damarge caused by the illicit refinery’s operations and the NAF,s bombig approach are enormous. The combined effects of these two often lead to devastating oil spills, contaminating local water sources, and causing severe damage to the surrounding flora and fauna.