The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta was forced to abort an operational patrol led by the commander, following the collapse of the Ikang River jetty in Calabar on Tuesday, a statement said.
The JTF Spokesman, Maj. Ibrahim Abdullahi, said in the statement issued in Yenagoa on Wednesday that Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi, the JTF Commander, some top military officers and troops, fell into the river as the jetty collapsed.
Abdullahi said that the incident forced the suspension of the patrol christened `Operation Delta Safe (OPDS)’.
According to him, all the personnel swam out of the river and recovered all the arms and ammunition, adding that some who sustained minor injuries had been treated.
He further said that 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 a.m. on Tuesday.
“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-strategise and go ahead with the planned patrol and inspection,” Abdullahi said.