The Nigerian Navy has deployed 11 new MANTRA Class Seaward Defense boats and two new Augusta Helicopters to the Niger Delta region as the military aims to take control of the area and restore law and order.
Deployments put in place so far will see powerful and consistent air operations reinforced to balance the ground efforts of the Joint Military Task Force both onshore and offshore.
Criminal activities including, Illegal bunkering, kidnapping and hostage taking as well as piracy in the Niger delta region, have caused the country billions of oil revenue and the government has opted to increase its efforts in combating the rebel militants responsible.
Experts and observers had expressed misgivings about the use of force by the government, claiming that avoiding negotiations may not be the best way to solve the problem in the Niger Delta, but on the contrary, factions of rebel groups have lessened as they have been weakened immensely by the incessant attacks of the Nigerian military.
The government has also made new orders for more sophisticated military equipment to better equip the Joint Task Force of the Navy, police and air force, in the troubled region. Commodore David Nabaida, director of Information at Naval headquarters, has indicatedd that by the middle of this year the Navy’s strong presence would have more impact in the nation’s nautical space as more deployments would be made as soon as the Navy’s new orders are received.
The rebels of the Niger Delta claim to fight for a share of the oil money that the Nigerian government and foreign corporations make from oil activities in the area without any regard for the environment, welfare and basic needs of the people of the Niger Delta. However, the youths of the region who began as freedom/right fighters now have the identity of rebels and miscreants. Most people in the region still live in abject poverty while the oil money still pours over.
Meanwhile, statistics on sea piracy, kidnapping and illegal oil bunkering, have reportedly reduced drastically in the Niger Delta area thereby boosting the nation’s economic environment.