The Nigerian Air Force said it had deployed additional aircraft to the South South region of the country to support the ongoing military operation against the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.
“The additional platforms, comprising fighter aircraft, helicopter gunship and surveillance aircraft, are intended to enhance the capability of the NAF to undertake offensive air operations and intelligence gathering in support of the surface forces,” the Air force said in a statement on Friday by its Director of Public Relations & Information, Ayodele Famuyiwa.
Mr. Famuyiwa said because of the recent deployment, the Air Force increased its 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, Mr. Famuyiwa said.
“Meanwhile, the NAF wishes to urge members of the public not to panic at the sight of low level flying aircraft but to go about their legitimate businesses.
“The NAF also enjoins any member of the public to avail it or other security agencies with useful information about the where about or activities of the militant group.”
The military has of recent scaled up its operation in the restive region, pumping in more high-end fighting and surveillance equipment as well as personnel.
But despite the heightened security patrol in the region, the Avengers continued to bomb key oil and gas installations. No member of the group has so far been arrested.