• Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

    …As NNS Pathfinder has announced the arrest of 95 suspects, deactivates 215 Illegal cooking camps in its efforts to combat crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

    The Nigerian Navy no doubt is spearheading the mission to put an end to crude oil theft, a menace which bleeds the country of billions of Naira annually. 

    The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo has however left no stone unturned in achieving this aim by activating the necessary Command’s to end this menace.

    One of this is NNS Pathfinder which has conducted several missions in pursuant of the objectives of Op Dakatar Dabarawo aimed at eradicating the menace of crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities within the base area of operations. 

    The missions conducted during the Operations led by Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim, Commander NNS Pathfinder includes; Joint Air Recce, Riverine Anti COT, Swamp Buggy Ops and Rescue/Clearance Op on identified sea robbers/camps.

    Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim, Commander NNS Pathfinder, gave the figure on Thursday in Port-Harcourt after undertaking an aerial assessment of some hotspots along the Right of Way of the Trans-Niger Pipeline.

    According to Hybrid News, Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim, accompanied by some selected Defense Reporters in the surveillance, also covered the Nembe Creek Trunk Line leading up to the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal that has been under force majeure since March 2022.

    Briefing the Reporters after the 8 hours-aerial survey, the Commander NNS Pathfinder also disclosed that the continued efforts by the security agencies had led to the confiscation of 23.5 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)

    “This volume is split between crude stolen and production deferment (shut-ins) due to legitimate fear of losing substantial volumes in transit.

    According to the Commander, over 6.2 million litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene DPK, and 18 million barrels of crude oil were confiscated.

    They are also to provide local intelligence on all illegal crude ventures happening within the region and security surveillance services for safe and seamless operations along the Nation’s pipeline networks.

    According to Ibrahim the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs had severely affected Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas production.

    To check the activities of the saboteurs, the Commander said the Nigerian Navy had set up a new security architecture to serve as a solid response to detect, deter, and respond to the activities of vandals.

    Recall that the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, recently said that there is a lot of disinformation about oil theft in the creeks of Niger Delta, explaining that oil theft is siphoning crude oil, from vandalised pipes, into barges, while oil losses occur when there is non-production, especially, during short-ins and force measures as the Federal Government does not earn the desired revenue it should.

    Ibrahim reiterated that the Nigerian Navy is determined to put an end to the crude oil losses.

    It can be recalled that the Commander, NNS Pathfinder said about 215 illegal refineries referred to as cooking camps had been deactivated during Operation Dakarar Dabarawo and still counting. 

    In his words “We are working towards creating an environment free of any deviation or abuse. The illegal refineries are not refining anything, they are illegal cooking camps and we have already deactivated about 215 of them and counting everyday.”

    According to Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim: “It’s usually hard for us to trace these illegal refineries and that’s why we’ve deployed helicopters which will aid our operatives to see these cooking camps clearly from above”

    Hybrid News gathered that some residents in Rivers State had to relocate due to air and aquatic wildlife pollution and illness. A situation which had immediately been put under control following the operations of NNS Pathfinder. 

    “During the conduct of Anti Crude Oil Theft Operations tagged “Operation Dakatar Dabarawo”, the Base established and sustained an aggressive patrol scheme to maximize previous gains achieved in anti-COT efforts”

    “This had led to interception of boats laden with illegally cooked products coming into Port-Harcourt town from Bille, Cawthorne Channel, Ke and Bakana”.

    Also, the Base reinvigorated riverine patrol efforts to increase ability of the Security Stations to provide increased maritime presence thereby denying freedom of action to miscreants transporting illegal products in the creeks.

    The Base Tactical Riverine Assault Squadron has deactivated several illegal cooking camps at Bakana, Bille, Cawthorne Channel and Snake Creek, Buguma, Km45 and Ke. 

    NNS Pathfinder also adopted the approach of using swamp buggies to degrade and dismantle the metal structures used in the camps as tanks, reservoirs and cooking pots. This is to ensure miscreants are severely discouraged and deterred.

    In conjunction with the support of HQ OPS under the auspices of Operation Octopus Grip, the Base Swamp Buggies have dismantled all infrastructure used for crude oil theft at Ke, Adamakiri, Tuma, Market Square, Bakana, Bukuma and some areas in Alakiri.

    Naval Dominance was successfully established and sustained as deterrence was also achieved. NNS Pathfinder conducted joint offensive Operations in Rivers and Bayelsa States code named Op River Rescue which saw to the rescue of two Nigerian Navy personnel and five civilians who were abducted along Bonny Port-Harcourt channel on May 14, 2022. 
    A coordinated joint offensive Operations by NNS Pathfinder, NNS Soroh and FOB BONNY with aerial support from the NNS led to the abductees rescue. 

    The Rivers State Government activated Operations Wipe Out Criminals, a joint clearance Operation aimed at clearing all identified hot spot within the state and to further degrades the activities of illegal bunkerers and economic saboteurs. 

    During the Operation, the Base recovered several arms and ammunition including AK-47 rifles and magazines, pump action guns and several ammunition. 

    Ibrahim stated further that the following are operational successes achieved by NNS Pathfinder during the conduct of Operation Dakatar Dabarawo where 95 Suspects were arrested. 

    132 Wooden Boats, Six Fibre boats
    One Barge, One Tug Boat, Two Truck, 18 Pumping machines, Five Outboard engines, Two Power generating sets, Two Power generating sets, One AK 47, One dain gun, Three AK 47 magazines, 92 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, 215 Illegal Cooking Camps deactivated.

    According to Hybrid News findings, It was however gathered that the NNS Pathfinder is faced with certain constraints that have hampered the conduct of the Anti-Crude Oil Theft operations which includes complicity of the locals and media awareness. 

    Security is not a one-man business as it requires collective responsibility of not just all security agencies but members of the public in achieving a safe environment. 

    This is why the NNS Pathfinder Commander, Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim, called on the locals to cooperate more with security agencies through information sharing and also desist from crude oil theft by adopting alternative but legal means of livelihood.

    He urged the media to constantly and deliberately report more on the activities of the Navy, in relations to anti crude oil theft so as to create more awareness on the effect of illegal bunkering on the economy and consequent adverse effect on the environment.

    Commodore Suleiman Dantsoho Ibrahim also urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), International Oil Companies (IOC) and National Oil Companies (NOC) to seal any Oil Well which is of no use so that  fraudulent refineries don’t make use of them.

    He said they would only take resources which are valuable to them and leave others which are of no importance to pollute nearby streams and land thereby causing environmental pollution.

    “It is pertinent to state that the Swamp Buggy Operations is still ongoing in order to degrade the infrastructure used by the illegal bunkerers”

    “Currently, the Base has deployed two Swamp Buggies, two tug boats, two barges and gunboats to Alakiri for Anti-Crude oil theft operations” Commodore Ibrahim stated.

    These efforts are all geared towards the attainment of the objectives of Op DAKATAR DA BARAWO.

    In his words: “I thank the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for his untiring logistics support, leadership and guidance.

    Hyacinth Chinweuba

    HYACINTH Chinweuba is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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