By Josephine Ella-Ejeh
Top military chiefs, including the Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi, and troops escaped death by the whiskers on Wednesday, when the Ikang River jetty in Calabar, Cross River state, collapsed and submerged the personnel in the river.
Spokesman of the joint military force christened Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, who made this known, said that the incident aborted an operational patrol led by the commander to troops’ locations across the region.
According to Abdullahi, all the personnel swam out of the river and recovered all the arms and ammunition.
He said some of the officers, who sustained minor injuries, have also received medical care as the troops withdrew to re-strategise and reschedule the operation.
“The Commander OPDS, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, Commander Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS) Victory, Operation Delta Safe Component Commanders, Commander Sector 4 along with other Senior Officers and soldiers, all fell into Ikang River. This was a result of the complete collapse of the Jetty at Ikang at about 10:00am on Wednesday.
“However, as a result of the survival capability of the Officers and Men, all personnel, weapons and other equipment were recovered with slight injuries to some personnel which have been treated. The team has retired back to Calabar to re-strategize and go ahead with the planned patrol and inspection,” he explained.