Why combat helicopter shot boat in Rivers – Military


The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied attacking a boat conveying people and food items from Port Harcourt to Bonny in Rivers.

A statement on Monday by the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyerr declared the claim was false.

Sawyerr said the Air Component of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) received an alert from ground troops.

The soldiers, on clearance operations, reported they were facing resistance at the point of encounter.

The military dispatched a combat helicopter to provide close air support mission along the Cawthorne Channel.

Sawyerr noted that the chopper observed an illegal oil bunkering boat popularly called “Cotonou Boat” and two escort speedboats.

Sawyerr explained that warning shots were fired to dissuade the crew from hostile action but they fired back.

The two speedboats, according to him, detached from the convoy at high speed leaving the “Cotonou Boat” which was neutralised.

“The helicopter later went after the two speedboats but was unable to track it, while the suspects are still at large and a manhunt has been sent out to apprehend them,” he said.

The DDI assured that the military remains a professional institution that operates in line with best practices through the application of rules of engagement and code of conduct.