THE Nigerian Navy has on Thursday launched a new security operation in the Niger Delta region known as as “exercise Eagle Eye” leading to the arrest of four sea pirates along the waterways of Brass in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The team of observers of the Chief of Naval Staff and special forces of the Nigerian Navy,who were in Bayelsa State between Thursday and Saturday to appraise the operational capabilities of the forces on ground,said the new plan is special security action in synergy with men of the NNS SOROH, Yenagoa and the Forward Operation Base, Formoso, Brass. The test exercise by the special forces of the Navy led to the arrested many sea robbers, razed some militants’ camps and destroyed illegal refineries in the state. In one of the operations carried out by 2am on Friday, four suspected daredevil sea robbers said to be terrorising traders and residents of some riverine communities in Bayelsa were apprehended. The suspects, who were paraded at the jetty of the FOB Formoso, confessed to be behind some attacks on traders and residents of Brass area of the state and its environs. The suspects gave their names as Messrs. Lucky Abraham, Enatimi Peter, Gift Monday and Felix Nathan.
The suspects alleged that they were working for one militant, simply identified as Thomas. The sea robbers were said to have been terrorising the waterways for a long time before luck ran out on them on Friday. Among the weapons found on them were one Pump Action rifle, one AK 47 rifle, radio walkie talkie and 115 horse power outboard engine. The suspects were apprehended at Masunkiri, some kilometres away from FOB Formoso, in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa following a tip-off. Explaining the exercise, the Commander, Nigerian Naval Ship, Soroh, Commodore Habib Usman, who led the CNS team in the state, said the Exercise Eagle Eye was the annual sea inspection operation by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas. He said the exercise was aimed at enhancing maritime security in Nigerian territorial waters. Usman said, “The exercise is part of the Chief of Naval Staff annual event. It started on December 1. The first phase was the riverine operations involving Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. What you have witnessed in Bayelsa is the team covering the state.
“The objective of the exercise is to assess the operational capability of the Naval forces on ground. During the operation, a number of arrests were made, a number of militant camps have been razed and a number of illegal refineries have also been destroyed.” “This is all part of the ongoing efforts to rid the riverine areas of the Niger Delta of all forms of illegalities so that economic activities can thrive.” Usman said the naval forces arrested four sea robbers when their camp was raided, adding that they (suspects) were armed with sophisticated weapons. He added that the suspects on sighting their troops, opened fire on their men and the troops retaliated and overpowered them, leading to their arrest. Usman added that currently, the arrested suspects were giving the Navy useful information to enable the force to track other criminals in their camps. On criminalities in the region, Usman urged the Niger Delta youths to embrace peace, look for legitimate businesses to do and shun all forms of illegalities. The highlights of the exercise were the visit of the CNS team to various Naval boat houses, inspection of military drills and performance of simulation operations on counter – piracy attacks, among others.
Source: Leadership Nigeria