Fact-Check: Did the Niger Delta Avengers Engage Nigerian Navy in a Gun Duel as this video portrays?
Claim: A video has gone viral on WhatsApp showing a shoot-out between Niger Delta Avengers and Personnel of the Nigerian Navy at an undisclosed location.
Verdict: There was no gun duel between the Niger Delta Avengers and the Nigerian Navy. The video is of a Nigerian Navy Special Boat simulation exercise during a ceremony while taking delivery of over 50 assault gunboats and drones to tackle crime and criminality in the nation’s territorial waters.
Full Text: A video has gone viral purportedly showing a shoot-out between Niger Delta Avengers and Personnel of the Nigerian Navy.
The footage generated a lot of controversy online with many questioning the federal government’s ability to adequately provide security of lives and property for citizens.
The reported Niger Delta Avengers had on June 27 threatened that they would return with “Operation Humble” which is similar to its “Operation Red” of 2016, designed to destroy oil and gas installations in the region as part of its campaign to cripple the nation’s major revenue infrastructure.
A statement sighted on the group’s acclaimed website had stated that they would attack politicians working and collaborating with the Federal Government “to undermine the interest of the Niger Delta region.”
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) is a militant group in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, an oil-rich but impoverished region located in the country’s south. These militants, who demand a fairer share of oil revenue for locals, have claimed responsibility for several attacks, including kidnappings and the destruction of oil installations.
Investigation by PRNigeria traced the source of the full video uploaded on 10th August 2021 by Aiteo Global Group on its YouTube Channel which showcased the official handing over of over 50 assault gunboats and drones to tackle crime and criminality in the nation’s territorial waters, by the company (Aiteo).
The video of the ceremony witnessed the presence of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, showcased a simulation exercise by the Nigerian Navy (NN) Special Boat Service which was redacted and passed off as an attack by the Niger Delta Avengers on NN personnel.
Also, ThisDay newspaper had on 5th August 2021, reported how Aiteo in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, donated 21 gunboats, 14 operational patrol boats, seven houseboats, four airboats, four high-speed interception inshore patrol boats, long-range surveillance drones and six high definition cameras to the NN, while Tribune reported the same ceremony on the same day.
Spokesperson of the NN, Commodore Suleman Dahun, confirmed to PRNigeria that it was a simulation exercise by men of the force.
“It showcases how officers and men can use their special prowess to attack and disloge offensives in our territorial waters and it happened in the presence of the minister of defense ably represented by permanent secretary of the Ministry, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rivers and Bayelsa state Governments,” he said.
PRNigeria reports that the Special Boat Service is a special operations unit of the Nigerian Navy. It is fashioned after the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service. It focuses predominantly on littoral and riverine operations, including reconnaissance and surveillance; covert beach reconnaissance in advance of an amphibious assault; recovery or protection of ships and oil installations subject to hostile state or non-state action; maritime counter-terrorism; and offensive action.
On April 21, 2020, ten SBS commandos boarded the Tommi Ritscher, a container ship captured by pirates off the shore of Benin and freed kidnapped crews. Benin authorities gave the SBS commandos a letter of commendation.
Furthermore, a simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. It is used in many contexts, such as simulation of technology for performance tuning or optimizing, safety engineering, testing, training, education, and video games among other uses.
Military simulations, also known informally as war games, are simulations in which theories of warfare can be tested and refined without the need for actual hostilities. Military simulations are seen as a useful way to develop tactical, strategic and doctrinal solutions.
Reports that the Niger Delta Avengers are back and have engaged the Nigerian Navy in a Gun Duel, leading to the deaths of one personnel is FALSE.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com